Subject: General Tech | August 25, 2015 - 06:40 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: GTA5, GTAV, pc gaming
Triple-A games with a long shelf life, regardless of how pretty they are, will probably get a graphics mod on the PC. A ridiculous number of them exist for Skyrim and Grand Theft Auto IV, which make them (arguably at the very least) look better than titles a whole generation ahead of them. Sometimes this raises controversy, as seen in the Watch_Dogs launch fiasco, but most of the time it is just hobbyists remaking the wheel (sometimes literally) to take advantage of newer hardware.
Toddyhancer, which is apparently a mod for Grand Theft Auto V, already looks impressive. It is not yet released, and the developer claims that it has a significant performance impact of ~10-30 FPS, which would be more useful in units of frame time (ms), but it makes its point. The above video seems to focus on shader effects to give a film feel.
Other screenshots exist, but it is difficult to figure out everything that has, and has not, been changed. The developer claims, “Don't go bananaz! its just Reshade Shaders, ENB series, simple tweaks and some tonemapping with class!”. Still, check it out if interested.
Subject: General Tech | August 25, 2015 - 02:57 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, hot chips, SK Hynix
Thanks to DigiTimes we are getting some information out of Hot Chips about what is coming up from AMD. As Sebastian just posted we now have a bit more about the R9 Nano and you can bet we will see more in the near future. They also describe the new HBM developed in partnership with SK Hynix, 4GB of high-bandwidth memory over a 4096-bit interface will offer an impressive 512Gb/s of memory bandwidth. We also know a bit more about the new A-series APUs which will range up to 12 compute cores, four Excavator based CPUs and eight GCN based GPUs. They will also be introducing new power saving features called Adaptive Voltage and Frequency Scaling (AVFS) and will support the new H.265 compression standard. Click on through to DigiTimes or wait for more pictures and documentation to be released from Hot Chips.
"AMD is showcasing its new high-performance accelerated processing unit (APU), codenamed Carrizo, and the new AMD Radeon R9 Fury family of GPUs, codenamed Fiji, at the annual Hot Chips symposium."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The TR Podcast 184: Streaming to the Shield and overrunning VRAM
- Backwards S-Pen Can Permanently Damage Note 5 @ Slashdot
- TSMC growing its 16nm client base @ DigiTimes
- Live Booting Linux @ Linux.com
- Office 2016 for Windows looks set for a 22 September launch @ The Inquirer
- MIT creates file system that will survive unexpected crashes @ The Inquirer
- Samsung smart fridge leaves Gmail logins open to attack @ The Register
- Intel Security hires ex-Cisco and Avaya man to run global channels @ The Register
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | August 27, 2015 - 12:17 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, liquid cooling, Intel, ek, AIO
EK (EK Water Blocks) is pouncing on the AIO liquid cooling market with its new EK-Predator series. The new cooler series combines the company's enthusiast parts into pre-filled and pre-assembled loops ready to cool Intel CPUs (AMD socket support is slated for next year). Specifically, EK is offering up the EK-Predator 240 and EK-Predator 360 which are coolers with a 240mm radiator and a 360mm radiator respectively.
The new coolers use copper radiators and EK Supremacy MX CPU blocks the latter of which has a polished copper base so there is no risk associated with using mixed metals in the loop. A 6W DDC pump drives the loop with the pump and a small reservoir attached to one side of the radiator (allegedly using a vibration dampening mounting system). EK ZMT (Zero Maintenance Tubing) 10/16mm tubing connects the CPU block to the pump/radiator/reservoir combo which uses standard G1/4 threaded ports.
EK pairs the radiator with two or three (depending on the model) EK-Vardar high static pressure fans. The fans and pump are PWM controlled and connect to a hub which is then connected to the PC motherboard's CPU fan header over a single cable. Then, a single SATA power cable from the power supply provides the necessary power to drive the pump and fans.
The EK-Predator 360 further adds quick disconnect (QDC) fittings to allow users to expand the loop to include, for example, GPU blocks. EK Water Blocks is reportedly working on compatible GPU blocks which will be available later this year that users will be able to easily tie into the EK-Predator 360 cooling loop.
Available for pre-order now, the EK-Predator 240 will be available September 23rd with an MSRP of $199 while the larger EK-Predator 360 is slated for an October 19th release at $239 MSRP.
If the expected performance is there, these units look to be a decent value that will allow enthusiasts to (pun intended) get their feet wet with liquid cooling with the opportunity to expand the loop as their knowledge and interest in water cooling grows. The EK-Predators are not a unique or new idea (other companies have offered water cooling kits for awhile) but coming pre-assembled and pre-filled makes it dead simple to get started and the parts should be of reputable quality. The one drawback I can see from the outset is that users will need to carefully measure their cases as the pump and reservoir being attached to the radiator means users will need more room than usual to fit the radiator. EK states in the PR that the 240mm rad should fit most cases, and is working with vendors on compatible cases for the 360mm radiator version, for what that's worth. Considering I spent a bit under $300 for my custom water cooling loop used, this new kit doesn't seem like a bad value so long as the parts are up to normal EK quality (barring that whole GPU block flaking thing which I luckily have not run into...).
What do you think about EK's foray into AIO water cooling? Are the new coolers predators or prey? (okay, I'll leave the puns to Scott!).
Subject: General Tech | August 27, 2015 - 12:59 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, Nixeus, vue24, freesync, gsync, amd, r9 nano, Fiji, asus, PB258Q, qualcomm, snapdragon 820, nvidia
PC Perspective Podcast #364 - 08/27/2015
Join us this week as we discuss the Nixeus Vue 24 FreeSync Monitor, AMD R9 Nano leaks, GPU Marketshare and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Sebastian Peak
Program length: 1:22:36
Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 26, 2015 - 01:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: SFF, micro-atx, mini-itx, SG12, Silverstone
The SilverStone SG12 is an SFF case which dreams big, built for Mini-ITX through Micro-ATX motherboards it is still large enough to fit a GPU over a foot long. Overall it is 266x210x407mm (10.5x8.3x16") in size, still small enough to fit in a living room or cart around with you thanks to the built in handle but large enough to fit high end components. Bjorn3D installed an i7-4790K on an ASUS Z97M-PLUS with a GTX 970 powered by a SilverStone SST-ST55F-G PSU which is about 40mm shorter than the majority of PSUs. For a cooler they used the SilverStone SST-ST55F-G, the 140x82x139mm size comes close to the maximum size you can fit into the case. Check out their full review here.
"Here at Bjorn3D we are no strangers to the SilverStone brand. They have been creating awesome cases, power supplies, coolers and more since 2003, and we have been fortunate enough to take a look at many of their offerings over the years. Early on in their history, they created the Sugo series of cases, a line which caters to those that wish to build a small form factor PC."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Silverstone Sugo SG12 Case Review @ Hardware Asylum
- SilverStone Sugo SG12 @ Benchmark Reviews
- Element Gaming Hyperian Micro-ATX Chassis @ eTeknix
- Cougar QBX Mini-ITX Gaming Chassis @ eTeknix
- Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX SE @ Modders-Inc
- Cooler Master MasterCase 5 @ techPowerUp
- Rosewill WolfAlloy Review Case Review @ Hardware Asylum
- Cooler Master MasterCase 5 & Pro 5 @ Kitguru
- MAINGEAR Shift @ Modders-Inc
- Thermaltake Suppressor F51 Midi Tower Review @ NikKTech
- Alphacool Custom 480mm Watercooling Kit Review @ NikKTech
- Enermax Liqmax II 240mm AIO CPU Cooler @ eTeknix
- Optimized CPU Cooling with Top-Down Heatsinks @ Benchmark Reviews
- be quiet! Shadow Rock LP @ techPowerUp
- Deepcool Assassin II Review @ OCC
Subject: General Tech | August 28, 2015 - 04:40 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: google, chrome, flash, apple
The good news from Google is that as of next month, Flash ads will be 'Click to Play' when you are browsing in Chrome. This will be nice for the moving ads but even better for defeating those sick minded advertisers who think audio ads are acceptable. However this will hurt websites which depend on ad revenue ... as in all of the ones that are not behind a paywall which have Flash based ads. The move will make your web browsing somewhat safer as this will prevent the drive-by infections which Flash spreads like a plague infested flea and as long as advertisers switch to HTML 5 their ads will play and revenue will continue to come in.
The news of Chrome's refusal to play Flash ads is tempered somewhat by Google's decision to put advertising ahead of security for Apple devices. The new iOS 9 uses HTTPS for all connectivity, providing security and making it more difficult for websites to gather personalized data but as anyone who uses HTTPS Everywhere already knows, not all advertisements are compliant and are often completely blocked from displaying. To ensure that advertisers can display on your iOS9 device Google has provided a tool to get around Apple's App Transport Security thus rendering the protection HTTPS offers inoperative. Again, while sites do depend on advertisements to exist, sacrificing security to display those ads is hard to justify.
"The web giant has set September 1, 2015 as the date from which non-important Flash files will be click-to-play in the browser by default – effectively freezing out "many" Flash ads in the process."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- BitTorrent kills bug that turns networks into a website-slaying weapon @ The Register
- Windows 10 download Build 10532 arrives but Chrome borkage continues @ The Inquirer
- Turning a typewriter into a mechanical keyboard @ Hack a Day
Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 25, 2015 - 01:49 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Source S340, razer, nzxt, mid-tower, enclosure, case
NZXT has created another modified enclosure in conjunction with Razer gaming, and this time it's a new take on the excellent Source S340 mid-tower (reviewed on this very website!).
As expected given the Razer branding this is a matte black enclosure with no shortage of green lighting, including a green underglow light. It's a look those familiar with the Razer edition of the H440 will be quite familiar with.
"Forged to match your Razer arsenal, the new custom design features a backlit Triple-Headed Snake logo, tinted window, illuminated LED power button, underglow, and green USB ports."
Subject: General Tech | August 27, 2015 - 02:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nifty, Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi and its various flavours have been out for a while now and we have heard of a variety of projects developers and hobbyists have come up with but this story from The Register has them all beat. With a little Googling and a lot of creativity and inspiration there are kids out there creating all sorts of new uses for the little device. One 11 year old was a little worried about her Grampa and used a Pi along with PHP and HTML to pair a device with a webpage which can bring up a web browser for him, allow simple texting capabilities and to photos to make sure he is still OK. Others have created a scanner to keep track of scores in netball or to make sure that the sushi they grab from a restaurant's conveyor belt isn't getting too old. Give kids a chance to create and what they come up with will blow you away.
"Completely at home with Raspberry Pis, these kids Google around for the things they don’t know how to do - because when you’re 11, you don’t know what you can’t do. They are inventing the future, and for them it’s just child’s play."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Best Lightweight Linux Distros @ Linux.com
- Your smartphone can be a 3D scanner, say boffins @ The Register
- Amazon Underground offers paid apps for free - but with a sting in the tail @ The Inquirer
- Password 'XXXXairocon' pops Wi-Fi routers from ASUS, ZTE and others @ The Register
- Ins0mnia: iOS flaw lets applications run for ever in a bad way @ The Inquirer
- It's official: Apple's next iPhone will be unveiled on 9 September @ The Inquirer
- Tech ARP 2015 Mega Giveaway #5 : Mi 10400 mAh Power Banks
Subject: Systems | August 25, 2015 - 06:09 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: vaio, z canvas
Sony's PC manufacturing division, VAIO, was spun out and sold off to Japan Industrial Partners last year. In the process, it shrunk down to about 250 employees and exited every market besides Japan. While it wasn't profitable last year, which makes sense for a restructure of this size, it expects to be floating on its own for this one.
This sounds like a SquareEnix ad...
This Autumn, which Paul Thurrott narrows down to October, VAIO will begin selling PCs through Microsoft's retail stores and website. The VAIO Z Canvas will be the first model to hit North America, which will have a PCIe 3.0-based SSD. The compute specs are less extraordinary as it is built around Intel Haswell-H and Iris Pro graphics. This is likely because the machine was previously released a few months ago in Japan, but it targets creative professionals so it should be sufficient in those areas. The high speed, PCIe SSD might even mask its weak points in typical usage.
We then get to the price. The VAIO Z Canvas will launch above $2000, which is much more expensive than the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. It comes with a stylus, keyboard screen protector, and no bloatware under the “Microsoft Signature PC” branding. We will probably need to wait and see if any pricing or last minute specification adjustments occur before launch, but this seems like it will have some issues unless the SSD is much larger than 256 GB as rumored.
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