Subject: Graphics Cards | June 12, 2015 - 10:31 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Skylake, leak, hbm, fury x, Fury, Fiji, amd
You just never know what's going to come your way on Facebook on a Friday night. Take this evening for me: there I was sitting on the laptop minding my own business when up pops a notification about new messages to the PC Perspective page of FB. Anonymous user asks very simply "do you want pictures of skylake and r9 fury x".
With a smirk, knowing that I am going to be Rick-rolled in some capacity, I reply, "sure".
Well, that's a lot more than I was expecting! For the first time that I can see we are getting the entire view of the upcoming AMD Fury X graphics card, with the water cooler installed. The self-contained water cooler that will keep the Fiji GPU and its HBM memory at reliable temperatures looks to be quite robust. Morry, one of our experts in the water cooling fields, is guessing the radiator thickness to be around 45mm, but that's just a guess based on the images we have here. I like how the fan is in-set into the cooler design so that the total package looks more svelte than it might actually be.
The tubing for the liquid transfer between the GPU block and the rad is braided pretty heavily which should protect it from cuts and wear as well as help reduce evaporation. The card is definitely shorter compared to other flagship graphics cards and that allows AMD to output the tubing through the back of the card rather than out the top. This should help in smaller cases where users want to integrate multi-GPU configurations.
This shot shows the front of the card and details the display outputs: 3x DisplayPort and 1x HDMI.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, we can see that Fiji / Fury X will indeed require a pair of 8-pin power connections. That allows the card to draw as much as 375 total watts but that doesn't mean that will be the TDP of the card when it ships.
Also, for what it's worth, this source did identify himself to me and I have no reason to believe these are bogus. And the name is confirmed: AMD Radeon Fury X.
Overall, I like the design that AMD has gone with for this new flagship offering. It's unique, will stand out from the normal cards on the market and that alone will help get users attention, which is what AMD needs to make a splash with Fiji. I know that many people will lament the fact that Fury X requires a water cooler to stay competitive, and that it might restrict installation in some chassis (if you already have a CPU water cooler, for example), but I think ultra-high-end enthusiasts looking at $600+ GPUs will be just fine with the configuration.
There you have it - AMD's Fury X graphics card is nearly here!
Subject: Mobile | June 12, 2015 - 03:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: smartphone, sony, xperia z3+, snapdragon 810
The new Sony Xperia Z3+ is a tiny bit thinner than the non-plus model at 146x72x6.9mm and 144g compared to 146x72x7.3mm and 152g. The display is unchanged, a 5.2" IPS screen with a 1080x1920 resolution but the processor received a significant upgrade, it is now a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810. The phone ships with Android 5.0 and The Inquirer got a chance to try it out. The new processor handles 4K video perfectly and the phone feels snappier overall compared to the previous model, check out their full experience here.
"SONY UNVEILED its latest top-end smartphone, the Sony Xperia Z3+ this week, with an updated, slimmer design, which has a lighter and sleeker frame compared with its predecessor, the Xperia Z3."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- SISWOO C50 Longbow Smartphone Review @ Madshrimps
- Lenovo ThinkPad Helix 2nd Gen Convertible Review @ Madshrimps
- Vodafone Smart Tab 4G Tablet @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | June 12, 2015 - 01:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hbm, leak, fury x, amd, Fiji, radeon, 390x
The rumours are flying today, with some purportedly leaked performance results of AMD's upcoming Fiji XT based card, the Fury X. The leak at Videocardz shows the results of 3DMark's Firestrike Ultra and Extreme for an AMD Radeon Graphics Processor in single card configuration and Crossfire results for Extreme only. The results show a card that can keep up with the Titan X and by extension the new GTX 980 Ti as well. At 1440p resolution, the Firestrike Extreme benchmark, the new AMD card seems to lag slightly behind NVIDIA in single and dual GPU configurations, but not by much while in the Ultra test at 4K the AMD GPU pulls ahead, likely thanks to the new HBM-1 memory.
They also claim to have a source who has run the new GPU though the CompuBench suite which gives us more information about the general architecture. The tests show a card with 64 Compute Units, which translates into 4096 Stream Cores if it is designed similarly to current Radeons. The tests also confirm the 1050MHz core clock and more interestingly the 4GB of HBM-1 will be clocked at 500MHz memory clock with a 4096-bit bus, which is good news for those who like their resolutions as high as they can go. Nothing is confirmed yet but these numbers bode well for the new Radeon architecture if they are true.
(Image credit: VideoCardz.com)
Introduction and Specifications
The ASUS Zenfone 2 is a 5.5-inch smartphone with a premium look and the specs to match. But the real story here is that it sells for just $199 or $299 unlocked, making it a tempting alternative to contract phones without the concessions often made with budget devices; at least on paper. Let's take a closer look to see how the new Zenfone 2 stacks up! (Note: a second sample unit was provided by Gearbest.com.)
When I first heard about the Zenfone 2 from ASUS I was eager to check it out given its mix of solid specs, nice appearance, and a startlingly low price. ASUS has created something that has the potential to transcend the disruptive nature of a phone like the Moto E, itself a $149 alternative to contract phones that we reviewed recently. With its premium specs to go along with very low unlocked pricing, the Zenfone 2 could be more than just a bargain device, and if it performs well it could make some serious waves in the smartphone industry.
The Zenfone 2 also features a 5.5-inch IPS LCD screen with 1920x1080 resolution (in line with an iPhone 6 Plus or the OnePlus One), and beyond the internal hardware ASUS has created a phone that looks every bit the part of a premium device that one would expect to cost hundreds more. In fact, without spoiling anything up front, I will say that the context of price won't be necessary to judge the merit of the Zenfone 2; it stands on its own as a smartphone, and not simply a budget phone.
The big question is going to be how the Zenfone 2 compares to existing phones, and with its quad-core Intel Atom SoC this is something of an unknown. Intel has been making a push to enter the U.S. smartphone market (with earlier products more widely available in Europe) and the Zenfone 2 marks an important milestone for both Intel and ASUS in this regard. The Z3580 SoC powering my review unit certainly sounds fast on paper with its 4 cores clocked up to 2.33 GHz, and no less than 4 GB of RAM on board (and a solid 64 GB onboard storage as well).
Subject: General Tech | June 12, 2015 - 12:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Android, blackberry, google, rumour
Could this Reuters' story that Slashdot linked to possibly be correct? A phone with a physical keyboard using Blackberry hardware with an Android OS? The fact that you have been able to set up the Google Play store on BB10 devices for a while now is well known and lends credence to the rumour but it would represent a huge change for the long suffering smartphone company. Blackberry opened up BBM to all phones, which did not generate much interest and the company has also announced that it will make some of its proprietary security feature available to iOS, Android and Windows phones which makes their devices a little less unique. A slider style phone with a keyboard that is natively Android is interesting but just how likely is this to restore Blackberry as a player in this highly competitive market?
"BlackBerry is considering equipping an upcoming smartphone with Google Inc.'s Android software for the first time, an acknowledgement that its revamped line of devices has failed to win mass appeal, according to four sources familiar with the matter."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD Fiji, HBM and product ‘rebadging’ @ Kitguru
- Windows 10: Microsoft offers devs a direct interface to anti-malware @ The Inquirer
- OpenSSL releases seven patches for seven vulns @ The Register
- Google's super-AI boffin, Bilderberg nobs, and a secret Austrian confab @ The Register
- 4 new twists that push the hacker attack on millions of US govt workers into WTF land @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | June 12, 2015 - 01:49 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: silent pc, mid-tower, computex 2015, computex, be quiet!, be quiet
Be Quiet unveiled the Silent Base 600 at Computex last week which is the company's second PC case. It is a smaller, quieter, and cheaper version of the existing Silent Base 800 while maintaining the same design and emphasis on noise reduction. Available in September, Be Quiet! is offering this mid tower case in both a side panel and windowed version at $99 and $115 respectively.
The Silent Base 600 is black with angled edges and a brushed metal front panel. It sits on four case feet that lift it up slightly to improve airflow. A panel on the front hides three 5.25" bays while the front IO sits along the top edge and two large vertical grilles act as front intakes. The side panel(s) have an adjustable height vent to increase or decrease airflow. A fan can be attached to the side panel (the window version of the case does not have vents) and users can adjust the intake around the edges of the vent to balance airflow and noise. Two Be Quiet! Pure Wings 2 fans come pre-installed (one 120mm in the rear and one 140mm front intake fan) and users can additionally install up to two 120/140mm fans up top, one 120mm side panel fan, one 140mm bottom mounted fan, and an extra 140mm front intake fan for a total of seven fans (or six if you opt for the windowed model). Be Quiet provides removable filters on all the intakes which is a nice touch.
Check out Gamer's Nexus for more photos from be quiet!'s Computex booth!
Front I/O on the Silent Base 600 includes two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, two audio jacks, and an integrated fan controller. Be Quiet! continues to emphasis noise reduction with the inclusion of sound dampening material in the side panels, rubber mounts for the tool-less drives, and rubber mounts for the included fans to reduce vibration noise.
The Silent Base 600 will be available in black, silver, and orange colors. The color options get you accents around the front grilles and rubber cable management grommets in your chosen color among other color tweaks.
Internally, the Silent Base 600 has room for ATX motherboards, bottom mounted power supplies (290mm max), CPU coolers up to 170mm tall, and up to 400mm long graphics cards. Storage is handled by three 5.25", three 3.5", and two 2.5" drive bays. Other features include three rubber grommets to support external water cooling radiators, grommets in the motherboard tray to help with cable management, an optional fan controller to control an additional three fans, and seven PCI expansion slots should you be so inclined.
In all, it looks like a good base for an extremely quiet PC though I would have liked to see 360mm radiator support so that I could finally upgrade my case and move my radiator inside (heh). I'm looking forward to the reviews and seeing how well the noise reduction tweaks work.
Jimmy Thang (from Maximum PC) was able to check out the new case at Computex 2015 and you can watch their video with Chris from be quiet! on YouTube.
What do you think about Be Quiet!'s new mid tower case?
Subject: General Tech | June 11, 2015 - 03:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, gaming mouse, mousepad, ozone, neon, boson
The Ozone Gaming Boson mousepad is not fancy, nor is it expensive at $10. It easily rolls up for travel as it is very slim and flexible, or it could be hand for someone who doesn't want a fancy mousepad but would like to protect their desks. The Neon mouse is the far more interesting part of the review at Techgage, as you can see in the picture it is perfectly symmetrical which makes it appropriate no matter which of your hands is dominant. Considering the right handed bias in most gaming mice it is nice to see a product which works for anyone and at $50 it is quite affordable. You can see how well it performs and get an idea of the software which allows you to customize your mouse in the full Techgage review.
"Ozone Gaming might be an unknown player in the gaming peripheral market, but there’s no doubt it’s a solutions provider with ambition. Today we take a look at two of its products, the Boson mousepad and the Neon gaming mouse. Read on for our review on this Ozone Gaming tag team."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Ozone Neon Precision Laser Mouse Review @ OCC
- Func MS-2 Gaming Mouse Review @ HiTech Legion
- Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mobile Mouse Review @ Techgage
- Thermaltake POSEIDON Z FORGED Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: General Tech | June 11, 2015 - 01:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: security, vpn, hola, fud
If you are using the free VPN service from Hola you really need to find a different solution. Not only has it been plagued with security vulnerabilities, some of which they have addressed and some of which even they admit still exist, you will also unwittingly be providing exit nodes and bandwidth for anonymous surfers. To add insult to injury, those users pay $20/GB to Hola for use of your bandwidth and you will never see a penny of that. Hola's ILuminati service allows you to surf the net anonymously by directing their traffic over anyone using the free VPN, or as they refer to it an unblocking service, so not only is your bandwidth being used, you have no idea what traffic is actually exiting through your VPN.
That is pretty much the exact opposite of a private network and depending on what is being done and how well the traffic is monitored you could well find yourself embroiled in an investigation you had no idea you were opening yourself up to. Check out more on this story at The Register.
"Embattled "free" VPN provider Hola is facing criticism over its practice of turning its users into exit nodes in a paid-for anonymisation service which can easily be used for nefarious activities. Hola's software is also claimed to include "unpatchable" vulnerabilities allowing takeover of user machines."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft to Linux users: Explain yourself @ The Register
- A 16 Petaflop Cray: The key to fantastic summer barbecues @ The Register
- Mozilla to pay $10,000+ for 'novel' exploits in Firefox bug bounty overhaul @ The Inquirer
Introduction and Design
With the introduction of the ASUS G751JT-CH71, we’ve now got our first look at the newest ROG notebook design revision. The celebrated design language remains the same, and the machine’s lineage is immediately discernible. However, unlike the $2,000 G750JX-DB71 unit we reviewed a year and a half ago, this particular G751JT configuration is 25% less expensive at just $1,500. So first off, what’s changed on the inside?
(Editor's Note: This is NOT the recent G-Sync version of the ASUS G751 notebook that was announced at Computex. This is the previously released version, one that I am told will continue to sell for the foreseeable future and one that will come at a lower overall price than the G-Sync enabled model. Expect a review on the G-Sync derivative very soon!)
Quite a lot, as it turns out. For starters, we’ve moved all the way from the 700M series to the 900M series—a leap which clearly ought to pay off in spades in terms of GPU performance. The CPU and RAM remain virtually equivalent, while the battery has migrated from external to internal and enjoyed a 100 mAh bump in the process (from 5900 to 6000 mAh). So what’s with the lower price then? Well, apart from the age difference, it’s the storage: the G750JX featured both a 1 TB storage drive and a 256 GB SSD, while the G751JT-CH71 drops the SSD. That’s a small sacrifice in our book, especially when an SSD is so easily added thereafter. By the way, if you’d rather simply have ASUS handle that part of the equation for you, you can score a virtually equivalent configuration (chipset and design evolutions notwithstanding) in the G751JT-DH72 for $1750—still $250 less than the G750JX we reviewed.
Subject: General Tech | June 11, 2015 - 12:15 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: Z97-Pro Gamer, video, valve, tonga, Steam Controller, Seiki Pro, seiki, r9 390x, podcast, MasterCase, hawaii, Fiji, coolermaster, computex, amd, 4k
PC Perspective Podcast #353 - 06/11/2015
Join us this week as we discuss the Seiki Pro 4k Display, More News from Computex, 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: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:16:25
Subject: General Tech | June 11, 2015 - 04:00 AM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: stainless steel, racing wheel, racing pedals, racing h-gear shifter, logitech, leather, G920, G29, G27, force feedback, aluminum
PC peripherals are a fickle market for companies. Some products get replaced and updated in a very short period of time, while others remain relatively stable and the product line lasts for years. Logitech has laid claim to one of the longest serving products in the peripheral field with the G27 racing wheel. This product has proven to be a popular accessory for those wishing to race on a variety of platforms with a clutch, stick shift, and a force feedback wheel. For the time it was a rather expensive part that reached the $400 mark at introduction, but has eased down to the mid-$250US range. Five years is a long time for such a product, but the overall design and quality of the G27 has insured its place as one of the better buys of this decade.
The G29 has a unique layout of buttons, d-pad, and a 35 position rotary knob.
Time passes and all things must change. The G27 has lost some of its luster as compared to some of the latest products from Thrustmaster and Fanatec. We are now in the midst of a resurgence of racing titles from a variety of sources, some of which are emerging from relatively unknown developers and veteran studios alike. Assetto Corsa, Project Cars, DiRT Rally, and F1 2015 plus a variety of paid and F2P titles are vying for racer’s attention in this very verdant environment of software titles. We must also not forget the new marketplace opened up by the PS4 and Xbox One. Logitech, in their quest to gain the hearts and loyalties of gamers has renewed their push into this marketplace with a variety of Gaming products. Today we get our first look at the two latest entries from Logitech into the racing wheel world.
Today Logitech is announcing their latest two editions to the high end racing accessory market. The G29 has been leaked and covered, but the G920 is a new revelation to the world. The G29 is aimed at the PS3 and PS4 market and will be available for purchase in early July of this year. The G920 is the Xbox One and PC model that will be released this Fall. The models differ with their button layout, but they are both based on a lot of the same technology that powers the force feedback experience in modern racing games.
The pedals are not as colorful as the G27 (it had red accents), but it looks nearly identical to the older part. Stainless steel pedals plus a clutch.
The base unit features a dual motor design with helical gears rather than belt driven. The helical gears should result in less backlash as compared to a belt design which can stretch and distort the feeling of the wheel. The shaft of the wheel features solid stainless steel bearings so that wear and tear should be kept to a minimum. The shifters and pedals are also made of stainless steel so that these high-wear parts will work for years without issue.
The wheel itself is made of hand-stitched leather over a plastic and aluminum framing. The wheel also features a LED light rev indicator that reports to users when to shift at redline. The clamping system allows the wheel to be used on desks as well as driving stations through either a clamp or bolts. The three pedal stand is of a decent weight and of course features a clutch pedal that many competing products do not have.
The G920 is a bit more minimalist in terms of button layout. This wheel does not feature the rev/shift LEDs that the G29 has, and this is due to how the consoles address hardware. Apparently it is just not feasible for the XBox One to do this.
The G29 and G920 differ in their button layout, but both feature the three pedal set and paddle shift setup. As compared to competing products from Thrustmaster and Fanatec at this price point, there is no ability to swap out wheels with the base unit. For example both Thrustmaster and Fanatec offer a variety of wheels that can be interchanged with the hub with the gearing and force feedback hardware. Both of those companies have a great amount of flexibility with accessories that can be swapped in and out. This of course comes with a significant price. The competing Thrustmaster set has F1 and other wheels that cost anywhere from $150 to $250, while Fanatec will allow a user to customize their setup for the low, low price of $1,000US plus.
The G29 and G920 include the wheel and three pedal setup as stock at $399.99. If a user wants to include a 6-speed manual shifter, then it will cost an extra $59.99US. That particular product is configured as an H pattern shifter, but it is not included in the base package for the G29 or G920.
The G920 pedals are essentially identical to the G29 unit.
It is great to see the G29 available in an early July timeframe, but it is slightly disappointing that the G920 will not hit the market until this Fall. As a die-hard PC gamer it will be a few months before I can get hands on the G920 and put it through its paces. The racing wheel market is not overly large as most users rely on gamepads, joysticks, and keyboards for their racing needs. As such, we do not see refreshes on a regular basis as compared to keyboards, mice, and other devices. It is great to see Logitech addressing this market with new products that bring new features.
Edit: According to the Logitech website, the G29 CAN be used with a PC as long as the users has the Logitech Gaming software installed.
Subject: General Tech | June 11, 2015 - 12:53 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: windows update, windows 10, microsoft, ISO
Microsoft pushed out the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10130 to Fast Ring users late last month, and now the company is releasing downloadable ISOs for the build. Microsoft is not yet ready to make this build available to Slow Ring users, but the company is making a special exception in releasing ISO files of the build (Microsoft usually only makes ISOs available after the build has been pushed to the Slow Ring). Specifically, the ISOs are being posted online in response to certain Fast Ring users getting a 0x80246017 error and not being able to upgrade using Windows Update.
Build 10130 will eventually come to the Slow Ring, but the company is still working on fixing several bugs including taskbar flyouts not working properly. For now we will have to wait.
However, if you are on the Fast Ring and are unable to use Windows Update, you can download the appropriate ISO for your language and system (32-bit or 64-bit), mount it, and apply the update by running the installer.
Download the Windows 10 Build 10130 ISO from the Windows Insider website.
Subject: General Tech | June 10, 2015 - 03:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, The Witcher 3, CD Projekt RED
Techgage has spent a while in the open world of The Witcher 3 and are ready to share their experiences. The open world is very open, you will find yourself wandering into areas you are not ready for without warning and at 50 hours in the reviewer is still seeing the occasional tutorial pop-up so they are nowhere near finishing. You may find yourself abandoning a quest to do other side quests in order to become powerful enough to survive the encounter with the boss at the end of the quest you originally intended to do. That is the heart and soul of a truly open game, which CD Projekt RED seem to have mastered. Check out their review right here.
"This land is deep in darkness, words do little to describe the hell that has befallen. War, pillaging, oppression, greed, politics and scandals. We are beyond the petty battles of good and evil, for all have monsters living within. With the stench of deceit in the air, what this world needs, is a Witcher."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Review @ OCC
- ‘Mirror’s Edge 2′ Is Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, Not A Sequel @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Warm up the Mega Buster: Next-gen consoles to reboot Mega Man series @ The RegisterE
- Co-op D&D: Sword Coast Legends Arriving In September @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Some developers hit hard by new Steam Refunds policy @ HEXUS
- AMD tipped to bundle Star Wars Battlefront with new Radeons @ HEXUS
Subject: General Tech | June 10, 2015 - 02:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: surface hub, microsoft
The Microsoft Surface that we were promised ages ago is finally being released in the form of the Surface Hub. Two models will be available for pre-order at the start of July, a $7000 55" model and a $20,000 84" version with a delivery date in September. The screens can recognize up to 100 touchpoints and are also designed with a stylus in mind so you can use it as a whiteboard or to add comments to your media in real time. The device sports infrared, imaging and depth sensors which can be used to add to your meetings. The smaller model is powered by Intel's HD4600 while the larger model contains an NVIDIA Quadro K2200. Check it out at The Inquirer.
"MICROSOFT HAS ANNOUNCED that an 84in Surface device will go on sale next month at the bargain price of $20,000. Microsoft announced the Surface Hub 55in and 84in touchscreen all-in-one devices in January, and said today that they will be available to order from 1 July."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Adobe Flash malware jumps over 300 percent in first quarter of 2015 @ The Inquirer
- Kaspersky uncovers Duqu 2.0 after state-sponsored malware attacks its systems @ The Inquirer
- Industrial Wi-Fi kit has hard-coded credentials @ The Register
- Intel could also be TSMC customer, says Chang @ DigiTimes
- HGST shimmy shimmy shingles its way to a 10TB spinning rust drive @ The Register
Digging in a Little Deeper into the DiRT
Over the past few weeks I have had the chance to play the early access "DiRT Rally" title from Codemasters. This is a much more simulation based title that is currently PC only, which is a big switch for Codemasters and how they usually release their premier racing offerings. I was able to get a hold of Paul Coleman from Codemasters and set up a written interview with him. Paul's answers will be in italics.
Who are you, what do you do at Codemasters, and what do you do in your spare time away from the virtual wheel?
Hi my name is Paul Coleman and I am the Chief Games Designer on DiRT Rally. I’m responsible for making sure that the game is the most authentic representation of the sport it can be, I’m essentially representing the player in the studio. In my spare time I enjoy going on road trips with my family in our 1M Coupe. I’ve been co-driving in real world rally events for the last three years and I’ve used that experience to write and voice the co-driver calls in game.
If there is one area that DiRT has really excelled at is keeping frame rate consistent throughout multiple environments. Many games, especially those using cutting edge rendering techniques, often have dramatic frame rate drops at times. How do you get around this while still creating a very impressive looking game?
The engine that DiRT Rally has been built on has been constantly iterated on over the years and we have always been looking at ways of improving the look of the game while maintaining decent performance. That together with the fact that we work closely with GPU manufacturers on each project ensures that we stay current. We also have very strict performance monitoring systems that have come from optimising games for console. These systems have proved very useful when building DiRT Rally even though the game is exclusively on PC.
How do you balance out different controller use cases? While many hard core racers use a wheel, I have seen very competitive racing from people using handheld controllers as well as keyboards. Do you handicap/help those particular implementations so as not to make it overly frustrating to those users? I ask due to the difference in degrees of precision that a gamepad has vs. a wheel that can rotate 900 degrees.
Again this comes back to the fact that we have traditionally developed for console where the primary input device is a handheld controller. This is an area that other sims don’t usually have to worry about but for us it was second nature. There are systems that we have that add a layer between the handheld controller or keyboard and the game which help those guys but the wheel is without a doubt the best way to experience DiRT Rally as it is a direct input.
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 10, 2015 - 02:34 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: rumor, Radeon 390X, radeon 390, radeon, leak, Hawaii XT, hawaii, amd
Here we go again...
Image credit: WCCFtech
Even more information has allegedly leaked out ahead of AMD’s official announcement of new 300-series Radeon GPUs, this time from rumor site WCCFtech. This information is totally unverified at least from any public source, but it is very specific regarding both price and GPU.
Here is the list published by WCCFtech in their report:
|R9 390X 8GB||Enhanced Hawaii XT||$389|
|R9 390 8GB||Enhanced Hawaii Pro||$329|
|R9 380X 3GB/6GB||Tonga XT (NOT CONFIRMED)|
|R9 380 4GB||Tonga Pro||$235|
|R9 380 2GB||Tonga Pro||$195|
|R7 370 4GB||Pitcairn||$175|
|R7 370 2GB||Pitcairn||$135|
|R7 360 2GB||Bonaire||$107|
As to whether this comes via leaked slides or is complete guesswork, we’ll likely have no answer until the official unveiling. Such an announcement is likely the purpose of the AMD gaming event at E3 which is now just days away. We can only hope that Fiji will in fact be making an appearance at the show as it does not appear on this list (again, if accurate).
Subject: Motherboards | June 10, 2015 - 01:42 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Z170, Skylake, mini ITX, Intel Skylake, computex 2015, computex, asrock
ASRock had some nice looking motherboards on display at Computex, but one in particular caught my attention. The ASRock Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac is a Mini ITX motherboard ready to support Intel's upcoming Skylake processor, DDR4 memory, and a slew of speedy connectivity options.
The LGA 1151 socket is situated in the middle of the compact board and is surrounded by a 6+2 power phase, two DDR4 memory slots, the PCH with red heatsink and ASRock Gaming logo, a mini PCI-E slot with pre-installed 802.11ac Wi-Fi card, and a single PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot snuggled along the bottom edge. Storage support includes four SATA 3 ports and a single SATA Express port in the bottom right corner. Several websites are also reporting that this board has an Ultra M.2 port as well, which may be located on the underside of the board like existing Mini ITX motherboard implementations (for space reasons). Unfortunately, I was not able to dig up any photos of the back so we will have to wait for reviews to confirm this.
As far as external I/O, the motherboard has the following ports on the rear panel:
- 1 x PS/2
- 3 x Video outputs (two HDMI and one DisplayPort)
- 2 x USB 3.1
- 6 x USB 3.0
- 1 x Gigabit LAN (from Intel)
- 3 x Analog audio output
- 1 x Optical audio output
In all, this pint-size motherboard packs a punch and will make for a powerful small form factor gaming PC when paired with a Skylake CPU and dedicated graphics card! Of course, the all-important pricing and availability were not announced at the show.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 9, 2015 - 06:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: cooler master, G550M, 550W, modular psu, 80 Plus Bronze
At 550W and an 80 Plus Bronze rating the Cooler Master G500M is not as powerful as many of the PSUs we have seen lately, then again at $75 it is also more affordable. Unfortunately for Cooler Master the competition tends to be lower priced, with Corsair, SeaSonic and Thermaltake all having slightly better PSUs of a similar wattage for an equal or lesser price. On the other hand Cooler Master's five year warranty is longer than any of the other brands and [H]ard|OCP feels that the G500M shows improvements over previous models as it passed all of their tests. This particular model may not be a great choice but if CM continues to improve the quality of their budget priced models the next release might be a solid contender.
"Today we spend our time with a computer power supply from Cooler Master that is towards the lower end of the wattage scale coming in at 550 watts. Cooler Master claims "notably higher efficiency and voltage stability than other designs." We will see if its Bronze efficiency G550M PSU will stand up to our gauntlet and its own claims."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- EVGA SuperNOVA 650GS @ Kitguru
- Seasonic Snow Silent 750W PSU @ Kitguru
- COUGAR GX-1050 V3 1050W Power Supply Unit Review @ NikKTech
- LEPA MaxPlatinum Series 1700 W @ techPowerUp
Subject: General Tech | June 9, 2015 - 06:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, hifiman, EF100, DAC, tube
Just the look of the EF100 DAC from HiFiMAN gives you the notion that this is not an entry level peice of audio equipment, it is aimed at those who desire near studio quality audio but who lack the means to rent studio time or buy professional level equipment. The $500 price tag is steep but you get what you pay for, a tube driven amplifier with C-Media CM102s inside with two analogue inputs, a mini-jack and RCA inputs. If this sounds like something you might need in your life check out TechPowerUp's review right here.
"HiFiMAN has a reputation for producing great headphone amplifiers. Today, we take a look at their newest do-it-all headphone amplifier & DAC combo with an on-board T-amp. This all-encompassing device features a class A/B headphone amplifier with a tube input stage. Despite all its features, it sells for $499, which is quite impressive."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Roccat Kave XTD 5.1 Analog Headset @ Benchmark Reviews
- Roccat Kave XTD 5.1 Analog Review at HardwareHeaven
- TAudio-Technica AT2020USB+ @ Hardware Heaven
- Arctic P324 BT Bluetooth Headphones @ Kitguru
- Razer Leviathan 5.1 Channel Surround Sound Bar Review @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | June 9, 2015 - 03:57 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: wine, linux
There is a tool that will be familiar to regular Linux users but perhaps not to those who have yet to spend time with the open source OS which is called WINE. It was originally developed to run a limited selection of Windows applications in Linux but has since grown to support 22419 applications as of today. If you want to try Linux especially if you feel limited by the amount of Steam games supported then you should check out the tutorial at Linux.com. The hardware requirements for Ubuntu and WINE are very low, this is a perfect opportunity to get some old hardware up and running and give Linux a shot, while still being able to use most of the Windows applications you are used to.
On the other hand if you are familiar with Linux, you knew all this already.
"To overcome this weakness, a compatibility layer called WINE was created. The name originally stood for Wine Is Not an Emulator (because everyone mistook the tool for a Windows emulator). The name is now simply Wine."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Single-molecule diode in new current record @ Nanotechweb
- IBM releases IoT electronic design automation tools in the SoftLayer cloud @ The Inquirer
- Imagination, TSMC collaborate on IoT IP platforms @ DigiTimes
- Asustek handset business starts generating profits in May @ DigiTimes
- Everything Apple announced at WWDC – inside our no-hype-zone™ @ The Register
- The Tech ARP + Western Digital My Passport Wireless Contest