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News Archives for February 2018

Hardware Roundup: Thursday, February 1, 2018, Edition

Posted: February 1, 2018 @ time: 06:46AM
Author: bp9801

February is upon us, with the shortest month of the year arriving with a few items in tow. We have a look at the HyperX Cloud Alpha Gaming Headset to see what kind of audio bliss there is when you have your games and music coming through it. If you're after a new way to control your games, perhaps the Tt eSPORTS Nemesis Switch RGB Mouse is the one for you, with its eight side buttons out of 12 that can be switched out to fit whatever style suits you best in the current game. We finish things off today with a review of the Toshiba TransMemory U364 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive to see how this tiny model can quickly move and hold your data.

Speakers/Headphones
HyperX Cloud Alpha Gaming Headset @ ThinkComputers

Mice/Keyboards
Tt eSPORTS Nemesis Switch RGB Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews

Storage/Hard Drives
Toshiba TransMemory U364 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ Madshrimps


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Volumetric Display Made The Builds 3D Images In Air

Posted: February 1, 2018 @ time: 09:21AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Science fiction has promised us many things for the future and thankfully we have scientists around the world working to fulfill those promises. Researchers at Brigham Young University are among them as they worked on their 'Princess Leia project' and they have now succeeded in creating a system to project 3D images in open air. These are not holograms though, as those involve scattering light on a 2D surface, but volumetric images as they exist in three dimensions, allowing you to view it from all sides. Other teams of researchers have also been working on producing volumetric imagery, but this is the first to combine the optical trapping and colorful lasers.

The way this display works is to take a particle of cellulose and trap it with a laser. This trapping allows the laser to precisely move it around while another set of lasers illuminate and color it. Thanks to how quickly the particle is being moved around, persistence of vision makes it appear lines are being painted in mid-air, forming a volumetric image. The researchers liken it to a 3D printer for light, with the cellulose particle effectively printing light as it is move around.

Thus far the researchers have displayed volumetric images of a butterfly, a prism, the university's logo, rings wrapped around an arm, and a recreation of Princess Leia by an individual in a lab coat crouching much as Leia does at the beginning of the famous message.

 

 

Source: Brigham Young University


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Ashes of the Singularity Gets v2.7 Update and Secret Missions DLC

Posted: February 1, 2018 @ time: 11:53AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Originally released in 2016, Ashes of the Singularity has continued to be developed as it became Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation and has now gotten its largest DLC to date. The Secret Missions DLC adds a new frigate to the Substrate and PHC along with eight new scenarios and eight new maps. Some of these maps have been designed to support 5v5, 6v6, and even 7v7 skirmishes if you want to get 14-player matches going.

The two frigates are the PHC Atlas, an anti-air, anti-drone frigate that is a cheaper option than the Apollo cruiser. It might be less powerful than the Apollo, but as it does not require radioactives to build, it is also less expensive. The Substrate is getting the Tormentor, an artillery frigate that can saturate an area with shells. It lacks accuracy and single-target damage, but is still very powerful against groups of units; more so than against structures. The DLC costs $3.99 at both Stardock and Steam.

Along with Secret Missions, the game is also getting the free v2.7 patch. Its changes include audio tweaks, rebalancing of maps, and fixes to targeting issues.

 

 

Source: Stardock


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Microsoft Office 2019 Will Only be Supported on Windows 10

Posted: February 1, 2018 @ time: 01:01PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Whether for school or work, a lot of people have need of an office suite, and Microsoft Office has been the go-to suite for a long time. Office 2019 is scheduled to launch in the second half of this year, and according to a new Microsoft blog post, it will only be supported on Windows 10. As The Verge points out, this is very possibly a move by Microsoft to push companies to use either Office 365 subscriptions or upgrade their machines from Windows 7 or 8.1.

The blog post also states some other things about Office 2019, including that it will be released with Click-to-Run installation technology, so an MSI will not be provided for deployment. Also the suite's support schedule will be different, shortening the five years of extended support to just two. Microsoft says this is a result of needing to move to a more modern cadence, with management and security solutions being developed so rapidly now. This change only applies to Office 2019, and not any of the existing versions of Office, and it will still see five years of standard support; the change is only to extended support.

Source: Microsoft


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Red Dead Redemption 2 Has October 26 Release Date

Posted: February 1, 2018 @ time: 01:15PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It has been a bit since the last update on Red Dead Redemption 2 and at that time the release target was Spring 2018 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Now we have some good news and bad news, with the good news being the release date is set for October 26, 2018, with the bad news being that is not in Spring. Obviously this is another delay, but Rockstar wants the extra time for polish. In the meantime, a new batch of screenshots have been shared.

There is still no official word on the game coming to PC.

Source: Rockstar Games


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XCOM 2 Collection Now Available on Steam

Posted: February 1, 2018 @ time: 02:13PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

If you are interested in XCOM 2 and its DLC, 2K and Firaxis Games have released the XCOM 2 Collection that has it all for Windows, Mac, and Linux. To mark the occasion, it is on sale on Steam for 50% off until February 3, as today's Daily Deal. (Steam Daily Deals typically run for 48 hours.)

The included four DLC packs are the Resistance Warrior Pack, Anarchy's Children, Alien Hunters, and Shen's Last Gift and the War of the Chosen expansion is a part of the collection as well. Resistance Warrior adds new outfits, head gear, custom armor, face camo, and a survivor of the old war. Anarchy's Children adds only cosmetic items, but over one hundred new exotic customizations for your entire collection of armor. Alien Hunters gives your soldiers new weapons and armor, along with cosmetic upgrades, to make them an elite alien hunting squad, and adds a new mission. Shen's Last Gift adds a new soldier class with new combat abilities, strategy mechanics, and customization options as you investigate ADVENT's "Lost Towers" facilities. The War of the Chosen expansion sees ADVENT being pushed back as more resistance factions form to defeat the alien threat, so the new enemy, the "Chosen" appear with the goal recapturing the Commander. Along with the new enemies are new Hero classes to counter them, new missions, environments, and an increase in strategic depth.

Source: Press Release


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Neverwinter - State of the Game

Posted: February 1, 2018 @ time: 08:55PM
Author: Grilka8050

The Neverwinter team got together on Twitch to give their player base an update on the game. They divided the presentation into three sections: a review of the last year, current hot topics, and some of the things they have planned for this year. 

Last year they released two mods: The Cloaked Ascendancy and The Tomb of Annihilation, along with their B modules. Neverwinter also updated the refinement system, hired some new team members, added a decoratable Guild Hall to the Strongholds, and the Stronghold Marauders event. 

One of the most notable things that happened last year was “Rocktober.” They opened the forums to have players report any game bugs they saw so that the developers could address these. The changes are set to go into effect with the release of Mod 13, February 27th. 

One of the Hot Topics addressed was the Foundry being brought back up. They explained why it went down and why it took so long to fix it. In a nutshell, the coding was tied to a similar feature in another game, and that feature was removed, which broke the Neverwinter Foundry. They had to rebuild it and address each Foundry Quest individually. There were also a few issues with the new profanity filter blocking some of the foundry quest names on the Russian server. 

The developers are also making some changes to the way they approach updates to the game. Rather than having two major mods per year and two B modules, Neverwinter is now going to have three major mods per year. They are also removing the major class nerfs. Instead, the devs will update individual class problems on an as-needed basis. 

Speaking of classes, the developers are not planning on releasing a new class within the next few mods. However, they are working on making enchantment visuals optional, as well as permanent transmutes.

The developers are making a strong effort to connect with their player base more. One way they plan on doing this is by working closely with the players who stream the game. The developers are also planning an event this spring for “PVP with the Devs.” 

You can watch the video here: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/224047638


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Corsair Launches New Gaming Chairs

Posted: February 2, 2018 @ time: 10:45AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

When gaming or working for long stretches in front of your computer, a comfortable seat can be very important. To the end, Corsair has announced two new series of gaming chairs; the 2018 T1 RACE and T2 ROAD WARRIOR. Both chairs are available with black, white, red, blue, or yellow accents.

The T2 ROAD WARRIOR has a number of features to keep you comfortable, including premium perforated PU leather and several points of adjustment. The seat back can be reclined up to 170º and the seat base too can be tilted by up to 17º, and there are included neck and lumbar pillows with soft microfiber exteriors, for when you need the extra support. The arm rests can be moved vertically, horizontally, forward and back, and can be rotated to match your needs, and for when you need to move around the rollerblade-style wheels will keep the movement smooth and most floors, including over carpet.

The new T1 RACE also has PU leather, pillows, and the rollerblade-style wheels but can be reclined 180º. The lift only provides 85 mm of lift though.

Both the T2 ROAD WARRIOR and T1 RACE are available now and are backed by a two-year warranty.

 

 

Source: Press Release


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Far Cry 5 Season Pass Revealed

Posted: February 2, 2018 @ time: 11:31AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Far Cry 5 will be releasing March 27 and, like many modern AAA game releases, there is a season pass for the DLC that will follow. Now we know some about what the DLC will bring, and they sound interesting. The three DLC are Hours of Darkness, Dead Living Zombies, and Lost on Mars.

The current details are a little sparse on the DLC, but here is what we have. Hours of Darkness will send the players back in time to Vietnam to fight against Viet Cong soldiers. In Dead Living Zombies you will be fighting against zombie horde across multiple B-movie scenarios. Lost on Mars will, naturally, take you off of Earth to fight against Martian arachnids.

If this DLC and the base game is not enough for you, everyone who purchases the season pass or Far Cry 5 Gold Edition will receive a copy of Far Cry 3. Those on PC will get the full version of the game while those purchasing an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 copy will get Far Cry 3 Classic Edition for the appropriate console four weeks prior to its standalone launch in Summer 2018.

Source: Ubisoft


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Neverwinter Down for Maintenance on All Platforms on Wednesday

Posted: February 4, 2018 @ time: 10:35PM
Author: Grilka8050

Neverwinter will be down on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, from 5AM to 2PM PST for maintenance. The game will be back up when maintenance is finished, so it could be earlier or later than 2PM. The developers have not given a reason for the extended maintenance, although I suspect it’s something to do with the newest dungeon, Tomb of the Nine Gods. This dungeon has been experiencing bugs across all platforms, so a 7-hour maintenance, for this reason, seems likely. 

If you need a way to help pass the time, be sure to check out the Neverwinter social media platforms where the developers will be doing giveaways for the duration of the maintenance.

Source: Neverwinter forums


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, February 5, 2018, Edition

Posted: February 5, 2018 @ time: 06:35AM
Author: bp9801

The first full week of February kicks off with several items for you to check out, ensuring the shortest month of the year is off to a good start. We have another look at the HyperX Cloud Alpha Pro Gaming Headset, which has 50mm drivers and a dual chamber earphone design to help give your games, movies, and music the best possible sound. Final Fantasy XV is about a month away and we have a look to see what kind of performance you can expect when it does with your CPU. We have an article explaining blockchain and just what this database behind the cryptocurrencies is all about and what could happen in the future. We finish things off with a look at some of the worst PC setups seen during January.

Speakers/Headphones
HyperX Cloud Alpha Pro Gaming Headset @ Neoseeker

Gaming
Final Fantasy XV Mega CPU Battle @ TechSpot

Miscellany
Blockchain Explained @ TechSpot
20 of the Worst PC Setups – January 2018 @ ThinkComputers


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DDR4 4700 MHz RAM Announced by G.Skill

Posted: February 5, 2018 @ time: 11:12AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

If you are looking for very, very fast RAM, G.Skill has just announced a new Trident Z RGB kit that should satisfy your needs with its world's fastest 4700 MHz frequency. To achieve this, Samsung DDR4 B-die chips have been carefully screened to find those capable of this speed with timings of CL19-19-19-39 while using 1.45 V. It is only a 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) kit, but often speed comes at the expense of capacity.

Naturally these kits will come with Intel XMP 2.0 profiles for easy overclocking when they are available in the second quarter through authorized distribution partners.

Source: G.Skill


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Meltdown and Spectre Samples Showing Up

Posted: February 5, 2018 @ time: 11:31AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

At the beginning of January the news about the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities first broke, and by the end of the month 139 samples had been found, according to AV-TEST. The antivirus testing firm shared this information with SecurityWeek, with those samples coming from sources including researchers, testers, and antivirus companies.

While the appearance of these samples is worrying, there is perhaps still some time to prepare as these appeared to be in a research phase. Most of them looked to be recompiled or extended versions of the proof-of-concept code released as part of the research papers identifying them, so they have not become malicious yet. This means you will want to make sure you are installing updates to your software, microcode, and possibly taking other measures to protect yourself. These other measures include turning off your computer when it is not needed for long periods of time and closing your web browser when you do not need it. Some of the proof-of-concept attacks use JavaScript code that can attack IE, Chrome, or Firefox.

On the bright side, along with the many software updates being rolled out by various companies, both Intel and AMD announced in their Q4 2017 earnings calls they have hardware-level fixes developed for future CPU releases. Intel stated the fixed chips are coming this year and AMD said the Zen 2 architecture will be the first with the fix. Zen 2 is scheduled to launch in 2019.

Source: SecurityWeek


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, February 6, 2018, Edition

Posted: February 6, 2018 @ time: 06:37AM
Author: bp9801

A new day is here, with a few items to get you through your Tuesday. We have a look at the AMD Ryzen 5 2500U Mobile APU with Raven Ridge that packs in a Vega GPU to the quad-core CPU, all while staying in the 15W window. There's a review on the Patriot Viper LED DDR4-3000 16GB Memory Kit, providing plenty of speed with some sweet looks. The final item for today is a review on the Cougar Surpassion gaming mouse, which is a no-frills model for an affordable price that still has plenty of buttons and high DPI to get you gaming right away.

CPUs
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U Mobile APU with Raven Ridge @ PC Perspective

Memory
Patriot Viper LED DDR4-3000 16GB Memory Kit @ ThinkComputers

Mice/Keyboards
Cougar Surpassion Gaming Mouse @ Neoseeker


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Blade of Galadriel Expansion Now Available for Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Posted: February 6, 2018 @ time: 09:06AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the sequel to the 2014 Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, released back in October and today its first story expansion has come out. Blade of Galadriel follows Eltariel, an assassin for Galadriel who was sent to Mordor for millennia to hunt the Nazgul. With this expansion, players get their first chance to play as the assassin, wielding her dual Elven blades and the Light of Galadriel with her many new combat abilities, skills, and gear. You will encounter new Nemesis characters including Flint, Tinder, and the Slayer of the Dead while you continue the fight against the Nazgul and learn more about their past. Eight new Legendary Orcs can also be gained through this expansion and brought back to the main story campaign, along with an Eltariel character skin.

Along with the expansion you have to purchase, several free content updates have also be added to the game. The Nemesis system has gained some new traits and behaviors for orc captains: Tunnel Rat allows them to burrow into the ground and summon Ghuls; Sniper Shot enables archers to attack and great distance with pinpoint accuracy; Tremor lets Ologs strike the ground to stagger threats and heavily damage structures; and Gifts of Treasure means followers can bring players a Treasure Orc for more ways to acquire gems and Mirian. Photo Mode has gained new filters, frames, and styles as well as adjustable expressions and stickers. Training Orders to upgrade orc followers can now be given from within the Garrison. A Player States page has been added to the menu for following in-game statistics and field of view options have been added.

The Blade of Galadriel can be purchased for $14.99 and is part of the Story Expansion Pass, which costs $24.99. The second story expansion, The Desolation of Mordor, will cost $19.99 if purchased separately and is scheduled to be released in May.

Source: Press Release


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Spring Creators Update Apparently the Name for Next Windows 10 Major Update

Posted: February 6, 2018 @ time: 10:15AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

In a number of ways Windows 10 differs from its predecessors and the way it receives new major updates is no exception. The operating system has a semi-annual release schedule for these updates, with the last being the Fall Creators Update. Based on some text in the February Bug Bush build for Windows Insiders, it appears the upcoming major patch will be the Spring Creators Update. This was found and shared via Twitter by Richard Hay who got a tip from user @WildDreamer95, but the name has since been changed by Microsoft to 'R4 update,' referencing the Windows 10 Redstone 4 codename for the update.

Source: TweakTown


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Atmospheres and Densities Analyzed for Four TRAPPIST-1 Planets

Posted: February 6, 2018 @ time: 01:43PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Last year NASA announced the star TRAPPIST-1 had seven Earth-sized planets orbiting it with multiple inside its habitable zone. Naturally these planets have been more closely looked at since, to determine if any of the planets might be able to support life. Using several space and ground-based telescopes, including the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes, we now know that three of these exoplanets do not have high concentrations of hydrogen in their atmosphere. This is important as it suggests their atmospheres could be similar to Earth's, as opposed to the atmospheres on gaseous planets like Neptune.

The four planets investigated were TRAPPIST-1d, e, f, and g, which are the four that exist within the star's habitable zone, though one is at the inner-edge of this zone. The habitable zone of a star is the area in which a planet could have liquid water on its surface, which is necessary for life as we know it. Being a dwarf star, TRAPPIST-1 is much smaller and colder than the Sun, so much so all of its planets, not just those in the habitable zone, are closer to it than Mercury.

To analyze the planets' atmospheres, the telescopes looked at them as they transited TRAPPIST-1, so the star's light would pass through the atmospheric gases. This would leave a fingerprint of the gases on the observed spectra of the light and from that we could determine some of the atmospheres' characteristics. In addition to studying their atmosphere, the densities of the planets were also better measured, indicating the planets are mostly made of rock and some may have up to five percent of their mass in water. That would be 250 times more water than the oceans on Earth.

More observations and analyses are going to be necessary to further understand these planets 40 light years away, and likely those discoveries will come from the James Webb Space Telescope that should be launching next year. This next telescope has been designed and developed to far exceed the capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope, but it has only been because of Hubble and other telescopes that we know what technologies and approaches get the most information.

The embedded media are from the ESA Hubble website with one being a comparison of star habitable zones.

 

Source: Hubble [NASA], [ESA] and Spitzer


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Navi Might Be Final GCN GPU from AMD

Posted: February 6, 2018 @ time: 02:03PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It was back in 2011 when AMD announced its first GPU using the new Graphics Core Next (GCN) macro-architecture, which the company has been using ever since, though with several micro-architecture enhancements and refinements. It was a significant departure from the TeraScale architecture before it and brought with it significant performance improvements, especially for GPGPU applications. According to WCCFtech, the Navi GPUs will be the final GCN-based GPUs, with the "Next-Gen" GPU sporting a new macro-architecture. Officially all we know about this next GPU is what appeared in a slide from AMD's CES Tech Day; that it will be fabricated on a 7 nm+ process.

According to WCCFtech's sources, development for this next architecture began prior to Raja Koduri's departure from the Radeon Technologies Group, but development has been increasing enough to produce more chatter under RTG's new leadership. Everything is speculation currently, but it seems AMD's intent is to make the leap to the new macro architecture as significant a performance jump as it was from TeraScale to GCN, or greater. Navi-based GPUs are expected to launch in 2019, likely early in the year, putting this GCN-successor in 2020 or 2021, assuming everything goes as planned and hoped.

Source: WCCFtech


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Intel CPUs Outselling AMD at German E-Tailer Mindfactory.de

Posted: February 6, 2018 @ time: 02:21PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

When AMD launched its Ryzen processors last year, they were recognized as a return of competition to the CPU market, which Intel had long dominated. This led to AMD actually outselling Intel as people sought the high thread count at affordable prices, but it appears AMD's reign has ended, at least at one e-tailer. Mindfactory.de is Germany's largest online retailer and has been sharing its sales data, which is how we know AMD got ahead of Intel, and now the data shows Intel ahead again at 58% to AMD's 42%. While Intel has represented the majority of sales now, there are some important points to the data's context.

Perhaps the most important piece of contextual information is the upcoming launch of the Ryzen 2000 series based on the Zen+ architecture. As promising and powerful as the Zen architecture proved to be with the Ryzen 1000 series of CPUs, there are a number of improvements expected and already announced for its successor, including support for faster RAM. Those following news from AMD are likely holding off on CPU purchases until the Ryzen 2000 series and accompanying x470 chipset release. Another point WCCFtech makes, that is rather interesting to me at least, is AMD's dominance in between the HEDT platforms. While the Ryzen Threadripper/x399 platform is not exactly cheap compared to the entry-level Intel HEDT parts, it offers many useful features, like 64 PCIe lanes off the CPU and better price-per-core than Intel's higher core count chips.

Time will tell how long this sales lead will last, and the Ryzen 2000 series and x470 platform is expected to launch in April.

Source: WCCFtech


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Neverwinter: Rewards for the Lost City of Omu Arrives February 27

Posted: February 6, 2018 @ time: 10:50PM
Author: Grilka8050

Neverwinter has some exciting new items planned for the Lost City of Omu, set to launch on February 27th. These include mounts, gear, weapons, and artifacts, so you can find plenty to like as you journey through the new adventure at the end of the month.

There are two Rare level mounts announced: Suratuk’s Ruby Strider and Eku’s Titivated Lion. Both of which you can see below!

 Omu Mounts

There’s also going to be Vivified Primal Gear, Item Level 510. By completing the new skirmish Cradle of the Death God, you can collect a “priceless item” to trade for the components you need to Vivify your Primal gear.

 Vivified Primal Gear

Two of the weapon sets have been announced for Neverwinter: the Primal set and the Tyrant set. The Primal set can be upgraded using “Soulmonger Ampoules,” also available from the new skirmish.

 Exalted Primal Weapon

The new Skirmish also has a chance to drop the newest artifact, “Decanter of Atropal Essence.” This is to be part of one of the three new artifact sets.

Omu Artifact

Remember, all of these go live on February 27. If you try to log into Neverwinter tomorrow and find out you can't, don't worry as it's just some maintenance. During the downtime, be sure to check out the Neverwinter social media feeds for a chance to win some prizes!

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, February 7, 2018, Edition

Posted: February 7, 2018 @ time: 06:38AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week is upon us, with a few items to get you through the day. We have a look at the Tesoro GRAM Spectrum Low-Profile Keyboard, which features new low-profile switches with a shorter actuation distance so you can game for longer without pressing as deep. There's a review of the Xiaomi Mi 5X 32GB smartphone, featuring a 5.5" screen and the latest Xiaomi version of Android to give you a solid experience. We finish things off today with an article looking at how feasible it is to use your gaming laptop on battery power and still get a good gaming experience.

Keyboards/Mice
Tesoro GRAM Spectrum Low-Profile Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews

Mobile
Xiaomi Mi 5X 32GB @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
Use Your Gaming Laptop and Play On Battery Power? Is It Possible? @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Google Might Be Developing Game Streaming Service and Possibly an Associated Console

Posted: February 7, 2018 @ time: 11:40AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

While there are some video game streaming services out there, their presence seems to be somewhat marginal and discs and downloaded installs dominate. Despite the nascent state of the services, there is a rumor Google might be developing its own solution, bringing game streaming to Chromecast and potentially a Google-made console. Supposedly this service, codenamed Yeti, is already functional on Chromecast, though Yeti was still in an early form at the time. The original intent was for Yeti to be used on Chromecast streaming devices with a Yeti hardware controller, while the idea of console being a more recent addition. The company's plans have been shared with some top-tier developers, according to the rumor, to see about getting existing games brought to Yeti or having new games developed for the service.

While this may sound unrealistic, Google did recently hire Phil Harrison, a form PlayStation and Xbox executive, so they do have someone with console experience among their ranks now.

Source: WCCFtech


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Crossing Souls Gets Demo Week Before Launch

Posted: February 7, 2018 @ time: 01:19PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Next week the game Crossing Souls will release on Steam and PlayStation 4, but if you want to give it a try before then, a demo has been released for it on both platforms. When it launches the game will cost $14.99 but with this demo you can try before you buy to see if that is something you want to play.

Crossing Souls follows a group of friends who uncover a government conspiracy and the supernatural events occurring in their town in this 80's inspired action-adventure. You control the five friends, Chris, Matt, Charlie, Big Joe, and Kevin, and are able to swap between them as you need their skills and combat styles.

 

 

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, February 8, 2018, Edition

Posted: February 8, 2018 @ time: 06:37AM
Author: bp9801

Thursday is upon us, with a couple of items for you to check out today. There's a review on the Corsair H115i Pro Liquid CPU Cooler, which features a redesigned pump and a 280mm radiator to help keep your processor nice and cool while you're pushing the latest overclock or taking your gaming to new heights. Our other item for the day is a look at the best gaming monitors you can get right now based on what you need and want for your system.

CPU Cooling
Corsair H115i Pro Liquid CPU Cooler @ ThinkComputers

Monitors
The Best Gaming Monitors @ TechSpot


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Facebook May Make Watch Into YouTube Competitor

Posted: February 8, 2018 @ time: 08:15AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Right now the dominant video hosting and sharing service is YouTube, where anyone can freely upload content, and if they satisfy the right conditions, they can even share in the ad revenue the videos earn. According to CNBC sources, Facebook is considering making changes to its Watch platform to compete with YouTube.

Watch launched in August 2017 and Facebook bought the rights to the shows that were on it, which means creators could not freely upload content, unless they became a partner. This also means not everyone would receive ad revenue for their content, but that is something the company is considering changing. By making it free to upload content and allowing content creators to receive a cut of the ad revenue, Facebook hopes to bring more long-form content to the platform and chick away at YouTube.

Recently YouTube changed the requirements for someone to earn ad revenue from the platform, removing the lifetime view count of 10,000 and making the requirement 4000 hours of watch time and 1000 subscribers. This change was made to appease ad buyers who were upset by their ads appear on inappropriate videos. What Facebook might be considering to avoid this would be to allow ad buyers to purchase specific shows, similar to how television ads are purchased. Of course all of this is technically rumor, but it will be interesting to see what strategies Facebook may adopt to bring more content to its platform.

Source: CNBC


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Intel Releases Microcode Update for Skylake CPUs Protecting Against Spectre

Posted: February 8, 2018 @ time: 09:12AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

At the beginning of the year the Spectre and Meltdown CPU vulnerabilities were revealed to the public, along with the efforts of various companies to patch the issues. This patching effort has continued ever since and now Intel has announced it released production microcode updates to its industry partners and OEM customers. This microcode will be used to create firmware updates for the Skylake platform. The microcode updates for other platforms are still in beta, allowing for additional testing for being ready for production release. Intel stresses the importance of keeping your system up to date to keep it safe from malicious attacks, such as these side-channel attacks.

Remember it was very recently revealed that a number of attacks based on Spectre and Meltdown have been showing up. While these malware samples are still young, they exist because people are trying to discover how to exploit the vulnerabilities.

Source: Intel


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For Honor Getting Dedicated Servers February 19

Posted: February 8, 2018 @ time: 11:16AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

There are certain game features that always seem to make the list of 'necessary' when communities put them together, and dedicated servers for online games seems to be among them. For those of you playing For Honor, you will finally get dedicated servers to play on starting February 19. This comes as part of the game's fifth season, titled Age of Wolves, which starts February 15. Initially the dedicated servers will focus on PVP game modes, removing session migrations and NAT requirements, and more resyncing should also be a thing of the past as well. The developers will be watching how the new infrastructure behaves closely, to improve it as needed and eventually bring it over to the consoles.

Age of Wolves is bringing more than just dedicated servers with it, as there will be major updates to five heroes and several tweaks to player progression, ranked play, and more. New training modes will also come to the game, but later in Season Five.

Source: Ubisoft


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AI-Based Supreme Commander System Coming in Galactic Civilizations III v2.8

Posted: February 8, 2018 @ time: 11:37AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It was not long ago the next expansion for Galactic Civilizations III, Intrigue was announced, but that is not stopping Stardock from doing other work on the game. Today the company has released v2.8 of the game, and it brings a number of improvements and updates to the game, including the new asynchronous AI-based Supreme Commander system that will oversee computer players. This new systems takes advantage of the game's new 64-bit core-neutral engine and leverages the fact most computers today have at least four CPU cores to deliver AI powered by a semi-genetic algorithm. This should result in a better experience for players, as they face off against the improved computer opponents.

Other changes with v2.8 include balance tweaks to make building 'tall' empires viable along with 'wide' empires. Instead of having to extend your borders across the map with less developed worlds, you can keep a small empire that is very well run and advanced and still affect the galaxy around you. The UI also enjoys some tweaks to streamline gameplay and has more in-game descriptions, to hopefully make the experience more approachable for new players. The combat has also been rebalanced some to make defenses more worthwhile.

You can find the changelog at the source link and here are the links to our review of Galactic Civilizations III v2.0 and Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade expansion.

Source: Stardock


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Neverwinter Call to Arms: Garrundar the Vile This Weekend

Posted: February 8, 2018 @ time: 07:29PM
Author: Grilka8050

Maintenance is all over with, so now it's time to check on what awaits us as we dive back into Neverwinter! This weekend is the “Call to Arms” event in Neverwinter, starting Thursday, February 8, at 7:30am PT, and ending on Monday, February 12, at 7:30am PT. This fun event includes slaying a black dragon, which provides some great rewards. What are the rewards, you might ask? Well, some of those have to remain a secret, but there are some we can tell you right now to get you salivating at the thought.

One of the treasures is a Lizardfolk Shaman companion. This is a leader/healing companion, but it also deals some decent damage; it’s a great companion to use while leveling up! You can also get some weapon transmutes and the Jungle Cloak Dye Pack.

Source: Acrgames.com


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Rumor Claims NVIDIA Launching GA104 in April and GP102 at End of Life

Posted: February 9, 2018 @ time: 10:42AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

This is completely a rumor and should only be considered a rumor, but it is still interesting. Supposedly, NVIDIA has brought its GP102 die to end of life (EOL), meaning the GPU inside the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti will no longer be produced, but the GA104 die has begun production. The GA104 die would potentially be what goes in the next GTX 2080/2070 GPUs (or maybe GTX 1180/1170 since previously NVIDIA was incrementing by one hundred) and be based on the Ampere architecture, not Volta. We have seen rumors about the Ampere architecture before suggesting it will be in the consumer-targeting GPU while Volta would be for the professional-targeting GPUs.

Going back to the current rumor, the GTX 1080 Ti will eventually go out of stock while the GA104 GPUs will launch in April, which would be two years after GP104 was revealed. If it is true then maybe we will start seeing leaks about its performance soon, so we can learn how it compares to the current crop of Pascal-based NVIDIA GPUs. Until then, we will need to wait and see if any of this is accurate and hope whatever GPUs come next will be available at MSRP.

Source: WCCFtech


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Neverwinter: Lost City of Omu Campaign Details

Posted: February 9, 2018 @ time: 06:21PM
Author: Grilka8050

Neverwinter has announced the continued story of the Jungles of Chult, set to launch February 27th. In the search for the source of the death curse, Celeste and her allies have followed the clues to the Lost City of Omu. This was once a powerful city, but now it’s just a crumbling memory of a people who were devoted to the Trickster Gods. There are still remnants of the Shrines for these Trickster Gods, hidden in the Undercity. Remnants such as the one you can see below and at the source.

Lost City of Omu

This new zone continues the dangerous jungle themes of Soshenstar River, combining with a crumbling infrastructure reminiscent of the River District. There are a lot of familiar dinosaurs, along with some of their dangerous cousins lurking about. The new zone brings new quests, hunts, rewards, and danger, so be sure to check it out at the end of the month.

Source: Neverwinter Developer Blog


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, February 12, 2018, Edition

Posted: February 12, 2018 @ time: 06:32AM
Author: bp9801

A new week is upon us, with a few items ready to start it off. We have a look at the ADATA Gammix S10 M.2 SSD to see what kind of performance you can get from it when you install it in your system. If you're after a new way to control your games, perhaps the Tesoro Gram SE Spectrum Gaming Keyboard, with its optical switches and per-key RGB lighting, is the one for you. We wrap things up today with a review of the HP Spectre x360 13 laptop, featuring a convertible design and a powerful CPU inside.

Storage/Hard Drives
ADATA Gammix S10 M.2 SSD @ Benchmark Reviews

Keyboards/Mice
Tesoro Gram SE Spectrum Gaming Keyboard @ ThinkComputers

Laptops/Tablets
HP Spectre x360 13 @ TechSpot


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DASHFLOW 240 AIO CPU Cooler Announced by ID-COOLING

Posted: February 12, 2018 @ time: 11:12AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

ID-COOLING has today announced its new DASHFLOW 240 all-in-one liquid CPU cooler, and like many products today, it does sport RGB lighting in both the fans and on the pump. The LEDs can be synchronized with a motherboard RGB control.

As the name suggests, this AIO supports two 120 mm fans that are PWM controlled for speeds from 900 RPM to 2000 RPM for a maximum airflow of 56.5 CFM. The four corners have rubber dampeners to keep things quiet. Attached to the motor are nine LEDs and both the fan blades and frame are made of a light emitting material to evenly spread the lighting.

The pump is newly designed for cooling and is capable of 450 L/H and 3 m flow lift. With a larger copper base and micro fin submerged design, it will efficiently pull heat away from your CPU. The premium sleeved tubing has G1/4 fittings on both ends, which ID-COOLING recommends you do not twist unless you are familiar with custom water cooling kits.

The DASHFLOW 240 is compatible with the current sockets from both Intel and AMD and has an MSRP of $140.

Source: Press Release


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Blizzard May Have Shared Video from World of Warcraft Classic

Posted: February 12, 2018 @ time: 11:36AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It is almost difficult to believe any video game could still be going after 13 years, but World of Warcraft has and Blizzard marked the occasion of its European launch anniversary with a tweet containing video and question of when people made their first character. Some players took a closer look at the video and noticed some inconsistencies. World of Warcraft has changed a great deal since its launch, with its many expansions tweaking things, such as spawn locations and graphics, which is exactly what the players caught. Apparently the video show characters in the original spawn locations, which expansions moved, but there are graphics from these expansions present, such as an exclamation mark over an NPC's head, newer character models, improved shadows, and greater draw distance.

The conclusion some of the players examining the footage have come to is the video was made from a working build of World of Warcraft: Classic, which will finally let players return to the original game, without any of the content from the many expansions. While players have been asking for this for quite some time, it was only in November Blizzard announced it was coming, and with the amount of infrastructure work to make it happen, no one knows when we might see the it go live. Seeing potential video from it though is an encouraging sign that work on it is progressing.

Source: WCCFtech


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, February 13, 2018, Edition

Posted: February 13, 2018 @ time: 06:36AM
Author: bp9801

Another day is upon us, with several items along the way to help out your Tuesday. We have a couple looks at the new AMD Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G to see how these new APUs stack up when put to the test, which also includes seeing what the integrated Vega GPU means in terms of gaming. There's a preview of what kind of performance we can get in the mobile world with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 mobile platform. We finish things off today with a review of the Patriot Viper Gaming LED Mouse Pad, providing a smooth sliding experience and some RGB lighting to add some style to your desk.

CPUs
AMD Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G: Return of the APU @ PC Perspective
Ryzen CPU + Vega Graphics on a Chip: AMD Ryzen 5 2400G & Ryzen 3 2200G @ TechSpot

Mobile
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform Performance Preview @ PC Perspective

Mouse Pad
Patriot Viper Gaming LED Mouse Pad @ ThinkComputers


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Neverwinter: Wonders of Gond Event Starts Tomorrow

Posted: February 13, 2018 @ time: 09:26PM
Author: Grilka8050

The Wonders of Gond have returned to Neverwinter. This steampunk-themed event is back for just under a week, so hurry on in! It begins on Wednesday, February 14, at 7:30am Pacific Time and ends on Tuesday, February 20 at 7:30am Pacific Time. Plenty of time to check it all out!

Craft Doohickeys and equip them to help attack in battle, or you can trade them for a Creations of Wonder pack. These include a high chance for an epic mount, or you can get some other great prizes instead.

There are resources expended along the way towards crafting a Doohickey, which can instead be traded for smaller prizes. You can get an expendable Doohickey, Toy Apparatus of Gond, or Mechanical Alters.

Given the recent refinement changes, the Doohickey is deviating from the current refinement system and sticking to the old way. This allows the developers to keep the refining materials exclusive to event resources, instead of pooling all resources together. You can craft Gond refining resources using your Professions, starting with raw materials that will be dropping from enemies.

Also available is a Blueprint on the Zen Market. You can use this to receive 1,800 event refinement points. These points are exclusive to the event and cannot be used on regular refining items.

Source: Arc Games


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, February 14, 2018, Edition

Posted: February 14, 2018 @ time: 06:26AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week and Valentine's Day is upon us, with just a couple of items today that you might love reading during your free time. We have a look at some external GPU testing, where a GeForce GTX 1080 is externally hooked up to an Ultraportable laptop sporting an Intel Core i7-8550U to see what kind of performance you can expect from this solution. Our other item for today is a review of the In Win Aurora RGB Fans, which come in a 3-pack to get your system cooled down, as well as with two RGB LED light strips to really give your case a much-needed burst of color.

Laptops/Tablets
External GPU Testing: GTX 1080 in a Box + Core i7-8550U Ultraportable @ TechSpot

Cooling
In Win Aurora RGB Fans @ ThinkComputers


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THQ Nordic Acquires Deep Silver Through Purchase of Koch Media

Posted: February 14, 2018 @ time: 08:26AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It looks like a number of former THQ properties are being reunited, years after the publisher's bankruptcy. Today it was announced THQ Nordic, formerly Nordic Games, has purchased Koch Media, the owner of Deep Silver. In the THQ Nordic press release on the acquisition, it is stated that while Deep Silver has had some less successful game releases, it has still maintained a long history of profitability. Koch Media will operate as an independent entity and there are no plans for restructuring or cost saving programs. However, THQ Nordic's management will be involved, to help ensure the Koch Media's products reach their full potential in the future. Also there may be synergies, such as partnerships between the two groups' IPs, assets, and development capacities to drive success. Such a combination increases the development capacity and pipeline, publishing capacity, and obviously the number of intellectual properties, which should increase the flexibility of the company and make operations more stable.

If you are wondering what former THQ properties the two companies had purchased following the publisher's bankruptcy, here are some I remember; Deep Silver had acquired the Saints Row franchise and its developer Volition, the Metro, Risen, Dead Island, and Homefront franchises; while THQ Nordic acquired the Darksiders, Titan Quest, and Red Faction franchises. A number of these franchises have games in development currently, including Metro Exodus and Darksiders III, both of which are expected to launch later this year. Now, once again, these franchises will be under the same umbrella, along with all of the original IPs both companies have.

Source: THQ Nordic


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MSI Partners with PC Building Simulator

Posted: February 14, 2018 @ time: 08:52AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

On March 27 PC Building Simulator will launch on Steam Early Access, and thanks to a new partnership, the game will include MSI components. MSI motherboards and video cards, featuring both AMD and NVIDIA GPUs, will be among those you work with, along with products from other companies, such as EVGA which was announced last month.

As the game's title suggests, it allows you to build fully functional gaming PCs as you work in your shop. The components you will be working with are accurately rendered and recreated so your interactions with them will be authentic as you experiment with installing them. The game will have a tutorial system as well, for those less familiar with building their own computers as it explains the components and functions.

 

 

Source: PC Building Simulator


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, February 15, 2018, Edition

Posted: February 15, 2018 @ time: 06:40AM
Author: bp9801

The week is starting to wind down, but not before we have some items for you to check out. There's a review on the NZXT H700i Tempered Glass Mid Tower, a premium case that has a control system for the cooling and RGB lighting effects to really dial in everything as you want. For some storage potential, we have a look at the Samsung SSD 860 EVO with its 500GB capacity and V-NAND 3-bit MLC flash technology for some fast speeds and performance. We finish things off today with a review of the Tile Sport Bluetooth Tracker, which can show where an item is if you happen to lose it thanks to a smartphone app.

Cases
NZXT H700i Tempered Glass Mid Tower @ PC Perspective

Storage/Hard Drives
Samsung SSD 860 EVO @ Benchmark Reviews

Gadgets
Tile Sport Bluetooth Tracker @ ThinkComputers


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This Weekend in Neverwinter

Posted: February 15, 2018 @ time: 08:28PM
Author: Grilka8050

The Neverwinter developers have several fun events going on this weekend that start today! The Wonders of Gond, Virtual Currency Bonus, Guild Marks Sale, and 2x Refining Stones. These events end on February 20 at 7:30am PT, with one exception; the Virtual Currency Bonus ends at 9am PT.

The Virtual Currency Bonus event is similar to how it’s been in the past, as you can see below.

Neverwinter is also having a 20% off Guild Marks sale! Any items that are purchased with Guild Marks now cost 20% less! You can purchase things like Stronghold Food, Armor, Professions resources, Enchantments and more!

This weekend also features a Double Refining Stones event. Each time you pick up an enchantment or refining stone, two will drop instead! This event was created when the developers changed the refinement system in Mod 12b in October 2017.

There used to be a 2x Refinement Weekend, where all items converted to Refinement Points would be worth double the normal amount. This isn’t as great as 2x RP, but it’s better than nothing!

Sources: Valentine's Sale, Arc Games


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Microsoft Reveal Ultimate Performance Power Policy for Windows 10 Pro

Posted: February 16, 2018 @ time: 09:50AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Like many developers leading up to a major update, Microsoft has been revealing more information about what is coming in the Redstone 4 update for Windows 10, which might be named the Spring Creators Update. The changes recently revealed include updates to Emoji, the ability to control Windows App file system access, and an Ultimate Performance mode for Windows 10 Pro for Workstations. The UWP file access control means you will be able to enable or disable all or specific applications from accessing the all of the files on your system. The Ultimate Performance mode is obviously the most interesting of these three changes, so it can have its own paragraph.

The Ultimate Performance mode is a new power plan that should go beyond High Performance, specifically to reduce or eliminate micro-latencies. The description in the blog post reads to me that over the years, Microsoft has developed many power tuning methods to balance performance and efficiency, and these are still in play even with High Performance. Ultimate Performance removes these "fine grained power management techniques" that were introducing the micro-latency, which should improve the performance for some workloads. It is currently not available on battery powered systems, because of how it may draw more power.

The post does have Ultimate Performance as a feature specifically for Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, along with a change to what tiles are presented in the Start Menu by default, so this may or may not come to the consumer versions of Windows 10.

Source: Windows Blogs


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Man Suing Microsoft for Unwanted Windows 7 to Windows 10 Update

Posted: February 16, 2018 @ time: 10:42AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

A lot of people really liked Windows 7, so much so they skipped Windows 8, and some even want to skip Windows 10. To encourage people to upgrade, and in an attempt to unify Windows users to a single platform, Microsoft made the upgrade from either older operating system to Windows 10 free, but there are still some who wanted to avoid it. This includes Frank Dickman of New Mexico, who is apparently very opposed to Windows 10, because he is suing Microsoft and its CEO over the Windows 10 upgrade.

According to the lawsuit, Mr. Dickman's ASUS 54L laptop came with an OEM license for Windows 7 and after it was upgraded to Windows 10, it become "non-functional immediately." It continues to state the upgrade removed the older operating system, which is normally kept to allow recovery of potentially lost files or returning to the previous operating system. (The backup is also made when you install a major upgrade and is kept in the Windows.old folder and can be removed using the Disk Cleanup utility, in case you were curious.) Supposedly Microsoft refused to put Windows 7 back onto the computer, stating the computer vendor (ASUS) must do so, but the lawsuit claims they are untrustworthy, so Microsoft must do it. If Microsoft refuses to do so within 30 days, Mr. Dickman wants "$6,000,000,000.00 (six hundred million dollars)" [sic] from the company and its CEO, Satya Nadella.

It is hard to say right now what is going to happen with this lawsuit, but it may be interesting to watch.

Source: The Register


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Corsair Launches New Corsair One Elite SFF Gaming PC

Posted: February 16, 2018 @ time: 11:01AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

While I will probably always have my main rig in a mid or full-size case, I must admit I can see the appeal of a small form factor computer to bring gaming performance to other rooms. A number of company make SFF computers, including Corsair which has just released a new version, the Corsair One Elite with a liquid-cooled Intel Core i7-8700K. The CPU can be paired with up to 32 GB of Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2666 MHz RAM and liquid cooled NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, which should be enough for 4K visuals and VR experiences. This is achieved in a 12 L package that only produces 20 dBa of noise at idle.

For storage the Corsair One Elite enjoys a 480 GB m.2 NVME SSD and a 2 TB HDD for volume storage. The power supply is a Corsair SF500 PSU with a Corsair ML140 cooling fan, featuring a magnetic levitation bearing to help keep things cool. The front panel has an HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, which is what you need to connect something like the Lenovo Explorer Windows Mixed Reality Headset without needing to access the back panel, which naturally offers more ports.

The Corsair One Elite will cost you $2999, but if you want to save some money the Corsair One Pro Plus, which has the same specs but only 16 GB of DDR4 2400 MHz RAM, is $2799. Both are available immediately if this is something you want to add to your household.

 

 

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, February 19, 2018, Edition

Posted: February 19, 2018 @ time: 06:28AM
Author: bp9801

A new week is upon us, with several items kicking it off. We have a look at the ASUS ROG Strix X299-XE Gaming motherboard, offering a smaller option when space is limited and you still want an Intel Core-X CPU running things. If you're after a different system build, perhaps the Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Ultra Gaming motherboard is for you, as it supports the Intel 8th Gen Core processors and a host of RGB options. We have an article taking a look at the new AMD Raven Ridge APUs and what kind of difference you can expect based on your system RAM and how much you allocate to the video memory. For those after some external storage, perhaps the SilverStone TS12C Dual Drive Docking Station is the solution for you. We wrap things up with a wireless keyboard, however, it's a 96-key mechanical model from Drevo called the Joyeuse, which still packs in a host of features in a thin design.

Motherboards
ASUS ROG Strix X299-XE Gaming @ LanOC Reviews
Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Ultra Gaming @ Madshrimps

Memory
AMD Raven Ridge 8GB vs. 16GB Reserved Memory Benchmark & Explanation @ TechSpot

Storage/Hard Drives
SilverStone TS12C Dual Drive Docking Station @ Benchmark Reviews

Keyboards/Mice
Drevo Joyeuse 96-Key Wireless Mechanical Keyboard @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


New Gameplay Trailer for Biomutant

Posted: February 19, 2018 @ time: 07:54AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Today a new trailer is out for the upcoming game Biomutant, an open world, post-apocalyptic Kung-Fu fable RPG. This trailer is from the PC Gamer Weekender and shows off some of the gameplay that can be expected when the game launches later this year. The title is promising a new take on third-person combat as it grants the player freedom of movement while they mix together shooting, melee, and abilities from their mutations in the martial arts style combat system. The game will also allow you to recode your genetic structure to alter the way you look and play, enabling you to literally evolve your gameplay. Besides the mutations allowing you to control how you play, the crafting system will let you mix and match parts to build unique single and double handed melee weapons for slashing, crushing, or piercing your foes. The game's story concerns the a plague destroying the land as the Tree of Life is bleeding death from its roots, leaving the Tribes divided and in need of someone to unite them, or bring them down. On your journey, you will get to explore the open world and what lies beneath its surface with mechs, jet skis, air balloons, and by foot.

Biomutant is scheduled to release some time 2018 for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

 

 

Source: Press Release


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AMD Providing Boot Kits with Old APU to Update BIOS for Ryzen APUs

Posted: February 19, 2018 @ time: 08:37AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Last week saw the release of AMD's Ryzen Desktop APUs, which combine the Zen cores of Ryzen CPUs with a Vega GPU. As we have known since before the launch of the Ryzen CPUs last year, these APUs would use the same AM4 socket as the CPUs, which means they could be dropped into existing AM4 motherboards and work fine, naturally following a BIOS update. While this is a very nice feature of the Ryzen platform, it hit a serious snag as consumers installed their new APU in their motherboard to find it would not boot. While all it takes is a BIOS update to fix the problem, not all motherboards allow a new BIOS to be flashed without a bootable processor installed, along with a GPU so you can see what you are doing. Luckily, AMD has a solution.

If this happens to you, and you do not have a friend you can borrow a CPU (and possibly a GPU) from, you can go through AMD support to have a boot kit sent to you, and part of the kit is an A6-9500, dual core APU. This is an older and slow APU but also uses the AM4 socket, so you can drop it in, update the BIOS, then pull it out and stick your new Ryzen APU in. Once this is done, AMD does want you to send the A6-9500 APU back, but according to Ars Technia, you can keep the heatsink it comes with. Not sure what you can do with the heatsink, as it is not compatible with Ryzen parts, but maybe you can still find something fun to do with it. (I like using the old aluminum block I have from a Phenom II 720 BE heatsink whenever I need to demonstrate heating and cooling.)

Source: Ars Technica and AMD


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, February 20, 2018, Edition

Posted: February 20, 2018 @ time: 09:32AM
Author: bp9801

Tuesday is upon us, with a few items for you to check out today. We have a look at the AMD Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G APUs to see what kind of performance you can get from Ryzen and the Vega GPU that's along for the ride. There's another take on the Ryzen 5 2400G, except this one looks at the memory speed performance and what faster DDR4 means for overall potential on your new system. We wrap things up with a review on the Logitech MX Master 2S mouse, which features a Darkfield sensor, wireless connectivity, and an impressive battery life, among others, that should appeal to many looking for a new mouse.

CPUs
AMD Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G @ Neoseeker
AMD Ryzen 5 2400G Memory Speed Performance Analysis @ PC Perspective

Mice/Keyboards
Logitech MX Master 2S @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Burnout Paradise Remastered Coming to Consoles March 16, PC Later

Posted: February 20, 2018 @ time: 10:54AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

If you remember playing Burnout Paradise, then there is good news for you as Burnout Paradise Remastered has been announced and is coming to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on March 16. Do not worry, PC gamers, while there is no date for it yet, it will be coming to Origin later this year. It will include all of the add-ons for the original game released as part of the Year in Paradise, except for the Time Savers. This includes the world extension Big Surf Island that players can explore, and when the PC version launches will be the first time it is available on the platform. Naturally there will be a number of technical enhancements to the game, including high resolution textures and 4K60 support, if you are using an Xbox One X or PlayStation 4 (and presumably a suitably powerful PC when the time comes).

Burnout Paradise Remastered will be available digitally and in stores for $39.99, for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 platforms. As is the case with EA games, EA Access members will get access to it prior to its worldwide launch, starting March 9.

 

 

Source: EA


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, February 21, 2018, Edition

Posted: February 21, 2018 @ time: 06:26AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week is here, with a couple of items for you to check out today. We have an overclocking guide for the AMD Ryzen 3 2200G to help you get even more performance out of this budget APU so you can really push the system. Our other item for today is a review of the Silicon Power Bolt B80 USB 3.1 External SSD, which has a shockproof enclosure with easy disassembly so you can upgrade to a larger capacity drive if you so choose.

CPUs
Budget Overclocking Guide: Ryzen 3 2200G @ TechSpot

Storage/Hard Drives
Silicon Power Bolt B80 USB 3.1 External SSD @ Madshrimps


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