Subject: General Tech | October 20, 2014 - 12:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: windows 10
This time it is The Tech Report who are taking a look at Win10 and what it brings to the table and what it takes away. As you can see from the screenshot below the Start Menu is mostly back, with a selection of large tiles already added to the side of the menu, though they are easily removable or can be replaced with non-Metro applications. Since the contextual search still appears at the bottom of the Start Menu the search button on the taskbar seems unnecessary. The multiple desktops work as promised, with ways to easily switch between your workspaces, windows have been visually trimmed along the outside and drop shadows are back. Check out the new command prompt and other changes in their three page article.
"TR's Cyril Kowaliski has spent some time with the Windows 10 Technical Preview, and he's jotted down his thoughts about each of the major new features and changes. His conclusion? This has the potential to be the best Windows release since Windows 7."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- IBM will pay $1.5bn to get rid of its chip-making unit @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft Gearing Up To Release a Smartwatch of Its Own @ Slashdot
- US government fines Intel's Wind River over crypto exports @ The Register
- Spotify is Powered by Linux and Open Source @ Linux.com
- Think Before You Measure – Old Test Gear and Why It Is Awesome @ Hack a Day
- Using the Wrong Screw: A Painful Lesson in iPhone Repair @ Hack a Day
- Tech ARP 2014 Mega Giveaway Contest @ Tech ARP
- NikKTech & COUGAR Worldwide Giveaway
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 21, 2014 - 06:42 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: maxwell, nvidia, gaming, mini ITX, small form factor, GTX 970, GM204, gigabyte
Gigabyte has announced a new miniature graphics card based around NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 970 GPU. The upcoming card is a dual slot, single fan design that is even shorter than the existing GTX 970 graphics cards (which are fairly short themselves). Officially known as the GV-N970IXOC-4GD, the miniaturized GTX 970 will be available for your small form factor (Mini ITX) systems in November for around $330.
The new Mini ITX compatible graphics card packs in a factory overclocked GeForce GTX 970 processor, 4GB of video memory, a custom PCB, and a custom WindForce-inspired cooler into a graphics card that is smaller than any of the existing GTX 970 cards. Gigabyte is using a custom design with a single 8-pin PCI-E power connector instead of two 6-pin connectors from the reference design or the 6-pin plus 8-pin from manufacturers like EVGA. The single power connector means less cabling to route (and
successfully attempt to hide heh) and better small form factor PSU compatibility. The cooler is an aluminum fin array with three copper heatpipes paired with a single shrouded fan.
The tiny card comes factory overclocked at 1076 MHz base and 1216 MHz boost, which is a respectable boost over the reference specifications. For reference, the GeForce GTX 970 processor is a 28nm chip using NVIDIA's GM204 "Maxwell" architecture with 1664 CUDA cores clocked at 1051 MHz base and 1178 MHz boost. It appears that Gigabyte has left the 4GB of GDDR5 untouched at 7.0 GT/s.
|Gigabyte GTX 970 Mini ITX||
Reference GTX 970
|Core (MHz) Boost||1216||1178|
|Memory Rate||7.0 (GT/s)||7.0 (GT/s)|
|PCI-E Power||1x 8-pin||2x 6-pin|
The display output on the miniature Gigabyte card differs slightly from the reference design with the addition of a DVI-D connection.
- 3 x DisplayPort
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x DVI-I
- 1 x DVI-D
According to Gigabyte, its custom cooler resulted in lower temperatures versus the reference design. The company claims that when running Metro: Last Light, the Mini ITX Gigabyte GTX 970 GPU ran at 62°C versus a reference design hitting 76°C running the same game. If true, the Gigabyte cooler is capable of keeping the card significantly cooler while taking up less space (though fan speeds and sound levels were not mentioned, nor compared to other custom coolers).
The small form factor friendly GTX 970 is coming next month with a MSRP of $329.99. Are you excited?
Subject: General Tech | October 20, 2014 - 10:14 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: raptr, pc gaming
Raptr, a PC gaming utility, tracks the time spent within each game and aggregates that data across its user base. Its actual purpose is for game recording, adjusting quality settings for your machine's performance, community engagement, and so forth. Still, it is allowed to collect that data, so it does, and it shows fairly interesting trends of game popularity. Note that these figures represent percentage of total game play, by hour.
Before we get into the numbers, a quick reference about statistics. It may be counter-intuitive, but you can get a pretty accurate result from a relatively small amount of data. Ars Technica's "Steam Gauge" polled 100,000 random Steam accounts, including hidden ones by poking at generated IDs, and came up with fairly accurate sales figures, confirmed by a few indie developers.
Where you can run into difficulties is if your random sample has some non-randomness, outside of your intended bounds. For instance, if you want to see trends involving PC gamers then it is logical to limit your survey to PC gamers, but you can run into systematic error if the study is voluntary, self-reporting, or has some other bias. Sometimes you cannot control these biases for your experiment, so multiple, different experiments may be necessary to dial in on a causation.
In this case, it seems like Raptr's study is an honest representation of the typical Raptr user. Tens of millions of samples is enough to crush random error. The only question that I can think of is whether Raptr users represent a sample space that you care about. If you want to know about the average gamer, including console, casual, and mobile, then maybe not. The average PC gamer? Definitely closer, but it should be compared to other studies in case there is disproportionate representation of some group. Interesting none-the-less? Of course.
So, that aside, the top three PC games of this poll stayed exactly where they are:
- League of Legends
- World of Warcraft
- DOTA 2
World of Warcraft and DOTA 2 held steady, but League of Legends increased its lead by over 14% (relative to second place). 22.54% of all play time that is recorded by Raptr is done in League of Legends. Diablo III jumped up to 5.23% of total due to the launch of a new "season", which encourages players to create new characters and compete for placement and loot. Basically, it attempts to recreate the feeling at launch where enthusiasts attempt to be the first to reach the level cap, and so forth.
The recently launched The Sims 4 found its way to #16. It launched on September 2nd, so it had basically a full month to collect usage time (including the launch surge). Raptr expects that it will slip off the list for October, and that makes sense for me.
Subject: Systems | October 20, 2014 - 05:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: LIVA, silvermont
Yes, you read that right; this system can be powered by a USB power source, as long as it can provide a minimum of 2.1 amps. It runs Windows 8.1 on a Silvermont generation Atom, with 64GB of local storage and 2GB of RAM and it is amazingly small, instead of showing you the exterior you can see the size of the board in comparison to the Atom and the VGA port. It has a UEFI BIOS, certainly pared down in comparison to a high end motherboard but with more than enough options for what this device needs to do. Check out the MadShrimps review here and be ready for another review to appear on our front page.
"The mini PC kit ECS has offered is shipped in a DIY format, and incorporates a dual-core Intel Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage. The footprint of the product allows us to carry it anywhere and it can be even powered by an USB powerbank, if it can deliver at least 2.1 A"
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Giada D2308U Mini-PC Review @ Madshrimps
- PCSpecialist Predator X99 System @ Kitguru
- iconBIT Toucan 4K Android Mini-PC Review @ Madshrimps
- Build your first PC: Step by step video guide with KitGuru TV
Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 21, 2014 - 04:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Nepton 240M, Nepton 120XL, Nepton, cooler master, all in one
They are not quite available yet but Cooler Master have announced two new all in one watercoolers, the Nepton 120XL and 240M which incorporate a new Silencio fan which as you may expect offers good performance with low noise. If the pricing follows the previous generation of Nepton you can expect to see the 120mm model retail for around $100 and the 240mm for around $120.
Taipei, Taiwan — Oct 21st 2014 — Cooler Master, a leading creator, innovator, and manufacturer of desktop components and peripherals as well as mobile accessories today announced the Nepton 120XL and 240M, the latest additions to the Nepton all-in-one liquid cooling family. See full details on the Nepton 240M product page here.
Keeping It Cool
Nepton 120XL and 240M are introducing a brand new Silencio fan from Cooler Master. This fan is designed with unique fan blades and technology in order to maximize air flow and static pressure with minimal noise output. The result of these fans and Nepton’s skived fin micro-channel technology brings Nepton 120XL and 240M to a whole new level of cool, mirroring the thermal success of the Nepton 140XL and 280L models.
The Cooler Master Nepton series was introduced with the 140XL and 280L models, which sported 140mm and 280mm radiators respectively. The new Nepton 120XL is equipped with a 120mm radiator while the Nepton 240M is equipped with a 240mm radiator. These sizes allow more opportunity for builders and enthusiasts to get their hands on the incredible performance from the Nepton line.
Sealing the Deal
Using Cooler Master’s exclusive design, the pump of the Nepton series pushed 120 Liters of liquid per hour through the flexible and robust FEP tubing to maximize thermal transfer. Topping the pump with a simple geometric design and illuminated Cooler Master logo, the Nepton series continues to turn heads. Backed by a 5-year warranty, Nepton 120XL and 240M will be cooling systems for years to come.
Nepton 120XL and 240M is now shipping to vendors in North America and will be available soon. Price and availability may vary based on region.
Subject: General Tech | October 21, 2014 - 01:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hoverboard, hendo
Arx Pax Labs, Inc. have a brilliant marketer and an interesting product in development; one year before the exact date a certain Marty McFly travelled foward to in time they have announced the Hendo hoverboard Kickstarter project. Their current products use a patented tech which they refer to as Magnetic Field Architecture to create a field which allows their devices hover when over a non-ferrous metallic surface. This does have some drawbacks, namely the limited amount of areas in which the device will function, as well as creating difficulties steering but the tech does work and will continue to be developed to provide more functionality. For $10,000 you could get your hands on one of the 10 working prototypes though a more attractive price point and a less limited product supply is at the $300 mark which will get you the Whitebox Dev kit, which is literally a floating white box for you to use and take apart. There are lower priced tiers which will allow you to have a 5 minute ride on one as well.
Engadget tried it out and the current model can solidly support up to 300lbs, the next generation is expected to handle 500lbs. There are far more uses for this technology than the hoverboard though perhaps not quite as fun. Delivery companies could implement hover pallets like you see in many sci-fi programs and conveyor belts might be a thing of the past. It might even be possible to temporarily raise a properly configured building off of the ground during an earthquake with enough of these devices installed in the foundation. Check out their Kickstarter's comment section for more information and links to other sites that have had a chance to try out the hoverboard.
"A KICKSTARTER PROJECT is offering investors the chance to own a hoverboard a bit like the one in Back to the Future 2 for just $10,000."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Doctor Who and the Dalek: 10-year-old tests BBC programming game @ The Register
- Samsung ships its first 20nm 8Gbit DDR4 memory chips for servers @ The Inquirer
- Solid State Tesla Coil Plays Music @ Hack a Day
- Rumor: Lenovo In Talks To Buy BlackBerry @ Slashdot
- Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch @ The Register
- Lenovo to set up secondary brand for mobile devices @ DigiTimes
- Whisper tracks its users. So we tracked down its LA office. This is what happened next @ The Register
- Vivi wins MSI MOA 2014 Grand Final @ Madshrimps
Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 21, 2014 - 02:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: modular psu, HX1000i, Corsair Link, corsair, 80 Plus Platinum
Corsair have updated their high end and high powered PSU line with the HX1000i, developed once again with CWT and sporting an 80 PLUS Platinum rating and Corsair Link integration. The documentation is a little confusing, referring to a single 12v rail rated at 83.3A or 1000W but also mentioning it can be toggled to multiple 12V rails, not to mention the small rounding error in their math. The actual PSU is very well constructed and passed all of the tests that [H]ard|OCP's torture chamber required of it; just not to the same level that the older HX1000 unit managed. That is a little disappointing as you would hope that the quality would improve over time but it is in line with the competition and certainly not a bad showing, merely not what [H] had hoped for. It is still worth your consideration so make sure to read through the whole review to see if the HX1000i meets your needs.
"Corsair's HX series represents its "second tier" line of enthusiast computer power supplies, but its new HX1000i does take the top spot when it comes to its ~1000 watt power supplies that are Platinum certified and fully modular. Let's see if this latest addition from Corsair represents its quality pedigree of days gone by. "
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Fractal Design Newton R3 1000W Semi-Modular PSU @ eTeknix
- FSP Aurum PT Series 1200 W @ techPowerUp
- Deepcool DQ750 Quanta Semi-Modular PSU @ eTeknix
- Be Quiet! Pure Power L8 730W Power Supply Unit Review @ NikKTech
- BitFenix Fury 750G Semi-Modular PSU @ eTeknix
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