Subject: General Tech | January 28, 2015 - 02:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: old school, inxile, interplay, gaming, bards tale
Ah the sweet days of exploring Skara Brae on an Apple ][e, trying to figure out how to make it down a street or corridor without being teleported back to where you started and trying to figure out if you want to promote your magic user to a sorcerer or wizard. InXile, the same company that brought Wasteland into the modern era will now be working to bring back The Bard's Tale. This will hopefully be a much better implementation than UbiSoft's disappointing Might & Magic X: Legacy, the change from Wasteland to Wasteland 2 is vast but has been well done. Check out Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN for more and watch the fall of Baron Harkyn and his four groups of 99 berserkers below.
"Brian Fargo and the inXile team’s next project will be another revival of an Interplay oldie. Following the success of Wasteland 2, the studio is now turning its attention to The Bard’s Tale, the fantasy dungeon crawling series last seen in 1988."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- I’m A Lover, Not A Fighter: 3 Hours With The Witcher 3 @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Wot I Think: Grim Fandango Remastered @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Unreal Engine 4 tech demo shows ultra-realistic apartment interior @ HEXUS
- EA's Need for Speed: No Limits has petrol as an in-app-purchase @ HEXUS
- Shock: Levine’s New Game Is Open Worldish Sci-Fiish RPG @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | January 26, 2015 - 03:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: swiftech, MCP655 PWM, VisionTek, CryoVenom R9 290 LE, phanteks, Enthoo Luxe
Pictured below is a VisionTek R9 290 using a watercooler custome designed by EK Water Blocks for a limited edition of CryoVenom R9 290 LE and gives this build some serious GPU power. As this system build is being done by Silent PC Review a generic pump is not going to cut the mustard and instead they chose the Swiftech MCP655 PWM for its low noise while operating. To cool off the i7-4790K a VisionTek/EK Supremacy waterblock was chosen as IK produces very high quality parts. To house the build a Phanteks Enthoo Luxe was chosen for it space and the ease of installing a radiator as well as its clean overall design. Check out the full build over at SPCR.
"Our seventh article in this season's new quiet gaming PC build guide series is our first complete discrete liquid cooled system, featuring the VisionTek CryoVenom R9 290 Limited Edition Graphics Card. This 450W beast of a system gets tamed to a cool, soft purr."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Journey to a Silent MicroATX @ Silent PC Review
- ECS LIVA-X Mini PC (Intel N2808) @ techPowerUp
- Quiet mini-ITX Gaming Build Guide #3: BitFenix Prodigy Edition @ Silent PC Review
- Gigabyte BRIX S BXi5H-5200 @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech, Systems | January 30, 2015 - 03:03 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: visionx, SFF, radeon, m270x, haswell, asrock, amd
ASRock has unleashed an update to its small form factor VisionX series. The new VisionX 471D adds a faster Haswell processor and dedicated Radeon mobile graphics to the mini PC.
The 7.9” x 7.9” x 2.8” PC chassis comes in black or silver with rounded corners. External I/O is quite expansive with a DVD optical drive, two audio jacks, one USB 3.0 port, one MHSL* port (MHL compatible port that carries both data and video), and a SD card reader on the front. Further, the back of the PC holds the following ports:
- 5 x Analog audio jacks
- 1 x Optical audio out
- 1 x DVI
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet jack
- 802.11ac (2 antennas)
- 5 x USB 3.0
- 1 x USB 2.0
- 1 x eSATA
ASRock has gone with the Intel Core i7-4712MQ processor. This is a 37W Haswell quad core (with eight threads) clocked at up to 3.3GHz. Graphics are handled by the AMD Radeon R9 M270X which is a mobile “Venus” GCN-based GPU with 1GB of memory. The 28nm GPU with 640 cores, 40 TMUs, and 16 ROPs is clocked at 725 MHz base and up to 775 MHz boost. The PC further supports two SO-DIMMS, two 2.5” drives, one mSATA connector, and the above-mentioned DVD drive (DL-8A4SH-01 comes pre-installed).
The VisionX 471D is a “barebones” system where you will have to provide your own OS but does come with bundled storage and memory. Specifically, for $999, the SFF computer comes with 8GB of DDR3 memory, a 2TB mechanical hard drive, and a 256GB mSATA SSD (the ASint SSDMSK256G-M1 using a JMF667 controller and 64GB 20nm IMFT NAND). This leaves room for one additional 2.5” drive for expansion. Although it comes without an operating system, it does ship with a Windows Media Center compatible remote.
This latest addition to the VisionX series succeeds the 420D and features a faster processor. At the time of this writing, the PC is not available for purchase, but it is in the hands of reviewers (such as this review from AnandTech) and will be coming soon to retailers for $999 USD.
The price is on the steep side especially compared to some other recent tiny PCs, but you are getting a top end mobile Haswell chip and good I/O for a small system with enough hardware to possibly be "enough" PC for many people (or at least a second PC or a HTPC in the living room).
Subject: Motherboards | January 27, 2015 - 02:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gigabyte, X99 Gaming 5, X99
If you like a nice clean black motherboard design with a few red highlights then the Gaming Series from Gigabyte is a great choice and their new X99 Gaming 5 will let you update to DDR4 and Haswell-E. The four PCIe 3.0 slots can support up to x16/x0/x16/x8 or x8/x8/x16/x8 with the appropriate processor and the storage system is rather impressive with up to 10 SATA 6Gbps ports, a single SATA Express port, M.2, eight USB 3.0 port and eight USB 2.0 ports of which four are shielded for use with external DACs. Speaking of sound, there is an OP-AMP socket and dedicated audio capacitors to let you get the best out of the onboard Realtec codec. To see how it performs, overclocks and even more check out [H]ard|OCP's full review or if you need even more features you can look back at Morry's review of the Gaming G1.
"GIGABYTE’s latest X99 Gaming 5 promises to be a solid overclocker with great features and a reasonable price tag. It comes with features like "Server Level Chokes" from Cooper Bussman and an all digital power solution from Power IR. Long Lifespan Durable Black capacitors and single package MOSFETs make the list as well."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASUS X99-Deluxe Motherboard Review @ Neoseeker
- Gigabyte X99M-Gaming 5 mATX @ Kitguru
- ASUS X99-A Review @ OCC
- MSI Z97 GAMING 9 AC @ techPowerUp
- MSI 970 Gaming AM3+ @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: General Tech | January 28, 2015 - 05:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, kingston, hyperx cloud II pro, gaming headset
Kingston's HyperX Cloud II Pro Gaming Headset can work as just a normal over the ear headset thanks to the removable microphone and 3.5" jack but provides more functionality when you use the inline 7.1 audio DSP connected to a USB port. The speakers are rated at a frequency response of 15Hz–25,000 Hz and the microphone at 50–18,000 Hz but be aware that the quality of your voice is significantly better when not connected via USB. The 7.1 audio emulation software works as advertised although the reviewer at Modders Inc prefers to use stereo. Check out the full review right here.
"Two years ago, I walked into the Emperor's Ballroom in Caesar's Palace hotel in Las Vegas Nevada wearing khakis and a golf-shirt, feeling woefully underdressed for the venue as I did not exactly pack a ball gown nor do I look good in one. The room had high ornate coffered ceilings, triumphal arches, elaborate carpeting and real marble floors, all …"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Kingston HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset @ Benchmark Reviews
- ASUS STRIX 7.1 @ Kitguru
- Asus STRIX DSP Gaming Headset @ eTeknix
- BitFenix Flo PC Gaming Headset Review @ Techgage
- UE MEGABOOM portable bluetooth speaker @ Kitguru
- Inateck Wireless Bluetooth 3.0 Portable Keyboard @ eTeknix
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 30, 2015 - 03:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, msi, gtx 960, msi gaming 2g, maxwell
Sitting right now at $220 ($210 after MIR) the MSI GTX 960 GAMING 2G is more or less the same price as a standard R9 280 or a 280x/290 on discount. We have seen that the price to performance is quite competitive at 1080p gaming but this year the push seems to be for performance at higher resolutions. [H]ard|OCP explored the performance of this card by testing at 2560 x 1440 against the GTX 770 and 760 as well as the R9 285 and 280x with some interesting results. In some cases the 280x turned out on top while in others the 960 won, especially when Gameworks features like God Rays were enabled. Read through this carefully but from their results the deciding factor between picking up one or the other of these cards could be the price as they are very close in performance.
"We take the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 GPU based MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 2G and push it to its limits at 1440p. We also include a GeForce GTX 770 and AMD Radeon R9 280X into this evaluation for some unexpected results. How does the GeForce GTX 960 really compare to a wide range of cards?"
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Gigabyte GTX 960 G1 Gaming 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- Asus GeForce GTX 960 DirectCU II OC STRIX @ eTeknix
- ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Strix @ Benchmark Reviews
- Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC @ Silent PC Review
- Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 960 @ eTeknix
- GeForce GTX 960 Article Round Up @HiTech Legion
- Linux Benchmarks Of NVIDIA's Early 2015 GeForce Line-Up @ Phoronix
- Corsair HG-10 gpu bracket @ HardwareOverclock
Subject: General Tech | January 30, 2015 - 01:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, aoris, thunder k7, mechanical keyboard, cherry mx red
Aorus is expanding the mechanical keyboard market with their Thunder K7 which uses Cherry MX Red switches and has a removable numpad which you can attach to the left or right of the board, or completely separated from the main board if you so desire. The 20 keys on the numpad can all be programmed with macros, to help you copy and paste the UbiSoft game keys given away during our podcasts. The brightness of the keyboards backlighting can be adjusted with the wheel located at the top of the keyboard and the numpad as well. Modders-Inc found themselves liking this board, you can read about it right here.
"What do you look for in a keyboard? Do you look for items such as mechanical switches, dedicated macro keys, and LED backlighting? Do you want silent keys or loud keys? There are plenty of keyboards on the market with more features than you can shake a stick at. Some are useful, while others are gimmicky."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Cougar 700K Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ Kitguru
- COUGAR 600K Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ OCC
- Speedlink Parthica Gaming Keyboard @ eTeknix
- CM Storm Quickfire Ultimate Mechanical Keyboard @ eTeknix
- Cougar 600K Mechanical Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- orsair Gaming Sabre Optical RGB Gaming Mouse @ eTeknix
- Gigabyte FORCE M63 FPS Laser Gaming Mouse @ eTeknix
- Cougar 600M Black Edition Gaming Mouse @ Modders-Inc
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