Early testing for higher end GPUs
UPDATE 2/5/16: Nixxes released a new version of Rise of the Tomb Raider today with some significant changes. I have added another page at the end of this story that looks at results with the new version of the game, a new AMD driver and I've also included some SLI and CrossFire results.
I will fully admit to being jaded by the industry on many occasions. I love my PC games and I love hardware but it takes a lot for me to get genuinely excited about anything. After hearing game reviewers talk up the newest installment of the Tomb Raider franchise, Rise of the Tomb Raider, since it's release on the Xbox One last year, I've been waiting for its PC release to give it a shot with real hardware. As you'll see in the screenshots and video in this story, the game doesn't appear to disappoint.
Rise of the Tomb Raider takes the exploration and "tomb raiding" aspects that made the first games in the series successful and applies them to the visual quality and character design brought in with the reboot of the series a couple years back. The result is a PC game that looks stunning at any resolution, but even more so in 4K, that pushes your hardware to its limits. For single GPU performance, even the GTX 980 Ti and Fury X struggle to keep their heads above water.
In this short article we'll look at the performance of Rise of the Tomb Raider with a handful of GPUs, leaning towards the high end of the product stack, and offer up my view on whether each hardware vendor is living up to expectations.
Subject: Processors | February 6, 2016 - 09:00 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Skylake, overclocking, asrock, Intel, gskill
I recently came across a post at PC Gamer that looked at the extreme overclocking leaderboard of the Skylake-based Intel Core i7-6700K. Obviously, these competitions will probably never end as long as higher numbers are possible on parts that are interesting for one reason or another. Skylake is the new chip on the liquid nitrogen block. It cannot reach frequencies as high as its predecessors, but teams still compete to get as high as possible on that specific SKU.
The current world record for a single-threaded Intel Core i7-6700K is 7.02566 GHz, which is achieved with a voltage of 4.032V. For comparison, the i7-6700K is typically around 1.3V at load. This record was apparently set about a month ago, on January 11th.
This is obviously a huge increase, about three-fold more voltage for the extra 3 GHz. For comparison, the current world record over all known CPUs is the AMD FX-8370 with a clock of 8.72278 GHz. Many Pentium 4-era processors make up the top 15 places too, as those parts were designed for high clock rates with relatively low IPC.
The rest of the system used G.SKILL Ripjaws 4 DDR4 RAM, an ASRock Z170M OC Formula motherboard, and an Antec 1300W power supply. It used an NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 GPU, which offloaded graphics from the integrated chip, but otherwise interfered as little as possible. They also used Windows XP, because why not I guess? I assume that it does the least amount of work to boot, allowing a quicker verification, but that is only a guess.
Subject: Processors | February 5, 2016 - 11:44 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Intel, Skylake, overclocking, cpu, Non-K, BCLK, bios, SKY OC, asrock, Z170
ASRock's latest batch of motherboard BIOS updates remove the SKY OS function, which permitted overclocking of non-K Intel processors via BCLK (baseclock).
The news comes amid speculation that Intel had pressured motherboard vendors to remove such functionality. Intel's unlocked K parts (i5-6600K, i7-6700K) will once again be the only options for Skylake overclocking on Z170 on ASRock boards (assuming prior BIOS versions are no longer available), and with no Pentium G3258 this generation Intel is no longer a budget friendly option for enthusiasts looking to push their CPU past factory specs.
(Image credit: Hexus.net)
It sounds like now would be a good time to archive that SKY OS enabled BIOS update file if you've downloaded it - or simply refrain from this BIOS update. What remains to be seen of course is whether other vendors will follow suit and disable BCLK overclocking of non-K processors. This had become a popular feature on a number of Z170 motherboards on the market, but ASRock may have been in too weak a position to battle Intel on this issue.
Subject: General Tech | February 5, 2016 - 05:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: onedrive, microsoft, cloud storage
Remember the good old days when OneDrive moved from offering you 1TB of storage to an unlimited amount? That did not last too long, they changed their minds and dropped the paid service back to 1TB and the free version from 15GB to 5GB, with a chance to grandfather in the additional storage if you followed up with them.
A viewer recently encountered this for the first time and it seems appropriate to remind everyone about the change. If you have the paid service and are storing over 1TB you may have already heard from Microsoft but if not then consider this the warning that you have better trim down the amount of data you store on OneDrive as the changes are going to happen in the latter half of this year. The same goes for free users who have 15GB, or 30GB if you opted into the camera roll service, get the amount of files you have stored on OneDrive under 5GB or risk losing data you would rather keep. The standalone 100GB and 200GB plans will be reduced to 50GB, the price will remain at $1.99 per month.
The whole situation is reminiscent of a teacher in a classroom full of kids choosing to punish the entire class for the actions of a few individuals; in this case the tiny percentage which exceeded 75TB of usage. Make sure to clean up your OneDrive as soon as possible, this is not something you want to wait until the last minute to do.
"If you are using more than 5 GB of free storage, you will continue to have access to all files for at least 12 months after these changes go into effect in early 2016. In addition, you can redeem a free one-year Office 365 Personal subscription (credit card required), which includes 1 TB of OneDrive storage."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel Says Chips To Become Slower But More Energy Efficient @ Slashdot
- The USB Type-C Cable That Will Break Your Computer @ Hack a Day
- Mysterious 'Code 53' error is borking iPhones beyond repair @ The Inquirer
- Two Outstanding All-in-One Linux Servers @ Linux.com
- iOS flaw lets hackers thwart lock screen passcode on iPhones and iPads @ The InquirerE
- Ubuntu 6.06 To Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Performance Benchmarks: 10 Years Of Linux Performance @ Phoronix
- New AI chip from MIT gives Skynet a tenfold speed boost @ The Register
- Pebble punts out new firmware to watch you as you sleep @ The Register
- AUO starts shipping bezel-less Ultra HD TV panels in 1Q16 @ DigiTimes
- A Bot That Drives Robocallers Insane @ Slashdot
Subject: Graphics Cards | February 10, 2016 - 05:59 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: VR, vive vr, Oculus, evga, 980 Ti
You might wonder what makes a graphics card “designed for VR,” but this is actually quite interesting. Rather than plugging your headset into the back of your desktop, EVGA includes a 5.25” bay that provides 2x USB 3.0 ports and 1x HDMI 2.0 connection. The use case is that some users will want to easily connect and disconnect their VR devices, which, knowing a few indie VR developers, seems to be a part of their workflow. The same may be true of gamers, but I'm not sure.
While the bay allows for everything, including the HDMI plug via an on-card port, to be connected internally, you will need a spare USB 3.0 header on your motherboard to hook it up. It would have been interesting to see whether EVGA could have attached a USB 3.0 controller on the add-in board, but that might have been impossible (or unpractical) given that the PCIe connector would need to be shared with the GPU (not to mention the complexity of also adding a USB 3.0 controller to the board). Also, I expect motherboards should have at least one. If not, you can find USB 3.0 add-in cards with internal headers.
The card comes in two sub-versions, one with the NVIDIA-style blower cooler, and the other with EVGA's ACX 2.0+ cooler. I tend to prefer exposed fan GPUs because they're easier to blow air into after a few years, but you might have other methods to control dust.
Both are currently available for $699.99 on Newegg.com, while Amazon only lists the ACX2.0+ cooler version, and that's out of stock. It is also $699.99, though, so that should be what to expect.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 5, 2016 - 06:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: swiftech, H320 X2, AIO, watercooling
The Swiftech H320 X2 is obviously designed for those who like to show off the insides of their system, parts of both the reservoir and waterblock are clear as is the piping and there are indeed LEDs on the cooler. It is larger than the previous generation, the radiator is 127 x 375 x 28mm with a 109ml reservoir, three Swiftech Helix 120mm PWM fans are installed to pull heat from the radiator. Modders Inc loved the fact that while this is an AiO cooler, it is designed with modding in mind as you can add in or switch out components which is a rarity in AiO watercoolers. The performance was also impressive, you can read about that and more in their full review.
"All-in-one (AIO) water cooling units have brought the performance and silence of water cooling to the masses with the simplicity of installing an air cooler. AIOs offer simple installation without the need to bleed the loop. Simply attach the hardware and power cables and you are all set."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Antec Kuhler H20 H1200 Pro & H600 Pro AIO Water Cooler @ eTeknix
- Fractal Design Define Nano S Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Corsair Carbide 400Q @ Benchmark Reviews
- NZXT Manta Mini-ITX Chassis @ eTeknix
- Noctua NH-D15S CPU Cooler @ eTeknix
A unique combo of size and resolution
We see all kinds of monitors at PC Perspective; honestly it's probably too many. It's rare when a form factor or combination of features really feels unique, but today's review of the ASUS PB328Q is exactly that. Have we seen 2560x1440 displays? Countless. More than a few VA panels have graced our test benches. And 30-32 inch monitors were the biggest rage in screen technology as far back as 2007. A refresh rate of 75Hz is no longer as novel a feature as it used to be either.
The ASUS PB328Q combines all of that into a package that stands out from other professional, low cost monitor options. The largest 2560x1440 monitor that I have used previously is 27-inches, and the 5-in difference between that and what the PB328Q offers is an immediately obvious change. The question is though, does the size and resolution combination, along with the panel technology, combine to a form a product that is good for productivity, gaming, both, or neither? With a price of just $539 on Amazon, many users might be interested in the answer.
Here are the specifications for the ASUS PB328Q display.
|ASUS PB328Q Specifications|
|Screen Size||32 inch|
|Panel Technology||VA (vertical alignment)|
|Tilt Angle||-5 to +20 degrees|
|Standard Refresh Rate||75 Hz|
|Color Supported||1073.1M (10-bit) with 12-bit Look-up Table|
|Contrast Ratio||100,000,000:1 (ASCR)|
|Tearing Prevention Technology||None|
|Speakers||3W x 2 Stereo RMS|
|3.5mm Audio Output||Yes|
|Package Contents||Dual-link DVI cable
USB 3.0 cable
For those new to VA panel technology, is helps to have some background before we start testing the PB328Q. Vertical alignment panels are very good at blocking the backlight coming through the screen to the user's eyes, making them excellent at producing strong blacks and high contrast ratios when compared to other LCD technology. VA also results in vastly improved color reproduction and viewing angles, falling above TN and (usually) below IPS screens in that area.
Subject: General Tech | February 8, 2016 - 07:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: ROG, Republic of Gamers, mechanical keyboard, GK2000, cherry mx red, asus
ASUS has announced a new mechanical keyboard from their Republic of Gamers division, and the Horus GK2000 sports an aluminum upper body, with Cherry MX Red switches under the ABS keycaps.
The keyboard is a standard 104 key layout, with an additional 5 macro keys to the left, and wheels for volume and backlight control on the right side. It features 1000 Hz polling rate and offers a 2x USB 2.0 hub and 3.5 mm audio passthrough. As mentioned above key switching is handled by Cherry's MX Red, a linear switch which provides a lower actuation force than the MX Black.
In addition to the angular styling and large detachable palmrest, the GK2000 also offers adjustable (red) lighting to further enhance its appearance. We've seen quite a bit of the black/red color scheme for products targeting the gaming segment, and in this case it compliments the design of the company's ROG Swift monitors and other gaming products.
- Interface: USB 2.0 (1000Hz) with NKRO (can be disabled)
- Layout: Standard 104 + 5 macro keys (left) + ROG key (right) + volume and backlight wheels (right)
- Keyboard switches: Mechanical Cherry MX Red 45 g, 2 mm actuation, 4 mm travel
- Volume knob: Infinite wheel switch (scroll to increase/decrease backlight)
- USB hub: 2x USB 2.0
- Audio pass-through: 1x audio, 1x mic
- OS support: Windows XP/ Windows Vista /Windows 7/ Windows 8/ Windows 8.1/ Windows 10 32/64 bit
- Approx. dimensions: 52.65 x 17 x 4.9 cm
- Palm rest: 47.2 x 8.3 x 2.4 cm
- Cable: 180 cm braided cable
- Keycaps: ABS with UV grip coating
- Materials: 3 mm brushed aluminum, 3 mm sandblasted aluminum, ABS underside
- Weight: 1700 g
No pricing or availability information accompanied the announcement.
Introduction and First Impressions
The Enthoo EVOLV ITX it is not a new enclosure, but this striking color scheme - black with a glossy red interior - is. We'll take a thorough look at this mini-ITX enclosure in this review, and see how well it performs enclosing a gaming build.
The EVOLV series from Phanteks includes ATX, micro-ATX, and this mini-ITX versions; with all three sharing a common design language, though some of the features naturally differ. With this smallest design Phanteks decided to retain enough size to permit the use of standard components, with room for ATX power supplies, full length graphics cards, and liquid CPU cooling with up to a 280 mm radiator.
The EVOLV ATX was my first experience with a Phanteks enclosure, and I was impressed with the build quality and thoughtful design touches. There is a different approach to building with mini-ITX that introduces new elements, including the ability of a system to remain cool and quiet with components in much tighter quarters.
28HPCU: Cost Effective and Power Efficient
Have you ever been approached about something and upon first hearing about it, the opportunity just did not seem very exciting? Then upon digging into things, it became much more interesting? This happened to me with this announcement. At first blush, who really cares that ARM is partnering with UMC at 28 nm? Well, once I was able to chat with the people at ARM, it is much more interesting than initially expected.
The new hotness in fabrication is the latest 14 nm and 16 nm processes from Samsung/GF and TSMC respectively. It has been a good 4+ years since we last had a new process node that actually performed as expected. The planar 22/20 nm products just were not entirely suitable for mass production. Apple was one of the few to actually develop a part for TSMC’s 20 nm process that actually sold in the millions. The main problem was a lack of power and speed scaling as compared to 28 nm processes. Planar was a bad choice, but the development of FinFET technologies hadn’t been implemented in time for it to show up at this time by 3rd party manufacturers.
There is a problem with the latest process generations, though. They are new, expensive, and are production constrained. Also, they may not be entirely appropriate for the applications that are being developed. There are several strengths with 28 nm as compared. These are mature processes with an excess of line space. The major fabs are offering very competitive pricing structures for 28 nm as they see space being cleared up on the lines with higher end SOCs, GPUs, and assorted ASICs migrating to the new process nodes.
TSMC has typically been on the forefront of R&D with advanced nodes. UMC is not as aggressive with their development, but they tend to let others do some of the heavy lifting and then integrate the new nodes when it fits their pricing and business models. TSMC is on their third generation of 28 nm. UMC is on their second, but that generation encompasses many of the advanced features of TSMC’s 3rd generation so it is actually quite competitive.
Subject: Displays | February 6, 2016 - 10:41 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: monoprice, pen display, touch screen, drawing
A couple of CESes ago, Monoprice launched a couple of 22-inch pen displays to compete with the Wacom Cintiq 22HD. Shortly afterward, the products disappeared from their website and line-up, so I assumed, at the time, that they changed their mind or otherwise refocused.
Turns out, it was only temporary. There are now two models on their product list, one for $499.99 and another for $599.99, although I have a feeling that the cheaper model might be discontinued. The only real, concrete difference that I can see is the $599.99 model uses “battery-free” pens, which I'm assuming is powered by induction from the display surface. The cheaper model is out-of-stock with an estimated availability of “TBD”. That one uses rechargeable pens. The $599.99 model also lists Linux drivers. The $599.99 version also has a slower response time (12ms vs 5ms) and higher viewing angles, although both are listed as IPS.
Whether or not the $499.99 model will become available again, the $599.99 one is still about a third of the price of the Wacom Cintiq 22HD. Also, unlike the Wacom, it supports Linux as mentioned above. They used to offer a pen display with a ten-finger capacitive touchscreen, which competes with the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch, but that has not been relaunched, at least not yet.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 9, 2016 - 01:33 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: small form-factor, SFF, PC-M25, micro tower, mATX, Lian Li, hot-swap, enclosure, case, aluminum case
The PC-M25 is Lian Li’s latest enclosure; a small micro-ATX tower with an emphasis on storage.
“The PC-M25 includes a hot-swap HDD rack where users can conveniently install and remove up to five 3.5” drives with rubber suspension and without needing tools. The bottom HDD tray can mount an additional three 2.5” or two 3.5” drives. This makes a total of as many as seven 3.5” hard drives for advanced RAID storage applications.”
While a small form-factor design (all aluminum, of course), there is still room for a full system including long graphics cards and power supplies; though you’ll want a lower-profile CPU cooler as there is only 80 mm of clearance above the processor. Fans are included, with 140 mm intake and 120 mm exhaust pre-installed, though there is only a screen filter on the bottom intake (below the PSU).
- Model: PC-M25 A/ B
- Case Type: Mini Tower Chassis
- Color: Silver, Black
- Material: Aluminum
- M/B Type: Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
- Expansion Slot: 4
- HDD rack: 3.5" HDD x5 (Hot-swap)
- HDD tray: 2.5" HDD x3 or 3.5" HDD x2
- System Fan (Front) 140mm Fan x1; System Fan (Top) 120mm Fan x1
- I/O Ports: None
- Maximum Compatibility
- VGA Card length: 410mm
- PSU length: 230mm
- CPU cooler height:80mm
- PSU Type: ATX
- Dimensions (W x H x D) 199 x 322 x 441 mm (7.83 x 12.68 x 17.36 in)
- Net Weight: 3.74 kg (8.25 lbs)
Storage options for the PC-M25
The PC-M25 will be available this month with an MSRP of $169.
Subject: General Tech | February 10, 2016 - 03:52 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10
Since the release of Windows 10, Microsoft has been pushing for updates to just happen. They want users to receive each of them, because then it's harder for malware authors to take advantage of known vulnerabilities and it's also easier for Microsoft to update Windows (because it would have fewer permutations of patch levels). These updates would arrive with the useless name “Cumulative update for Windows 10 (some version)” and no further information, besides a list of changed files without any context.
Now with slightly less blindness...
Microsoft now has a page that lists the general improvements as a bullet-point list. It's not an extensive list of changes, and most of them are related to security and privacy, but that is to be expected now that Windows has moved to a build paradigm. They are broken down by build level, though, which lets you see everything that happened to 10240 since it launched separate from the list of everything that happened to 10586 since it was published.
This is positive. Microsoft should have done this for a while, and I hope they continue indefinitely.
Subject: Networking | February 9, 2016 - 11:24 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: wireless repeater, wi-fi, signal repeater, RP-AC68U, router, dual-band, asus, ac1900
ASUS has announced a new high-end wireless repeater, and the RP-AC68U boasts dual-band wireless AC1900 speeds, and features 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports to add wired devices to the network.
"ASUS RP-AC68U works by connecting wirelessly to an existing router and extending the Wi-Fi signal to areas of poor coverage, which are often a problem in large or multi-floor homes. With its blindingly-fast up to 1900Mbps combined speeds (600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1300Mbps on the 5GHz band), RP-AC68U is the perfect companion for extending the coverage of the latest 802.11ac routers, but it can also be used with routers supporting any older Wi-Fi standards."
The boxy shape is a big contrast from the giant spider-like designs we've seen from recent high-end routers, and inside the enclosure there are a total of 3 transmit and 4 receive antennas to extend the range of your dual-band 802.11ac network.
The RP-AC68U has five Gigabit Ethernet ports on the back, which ASUS says "allow users to convert any wired network devices to wireless operation", and there's a USB 3.0 port to allow additional devices to be added to the network.
- I/O ports:
- 5 x Gigabit Ethernet LAN RJ45
- 1 x USB 3.0 port
- Antennas: 4 x Internal antennas (3 transmit, 4 receive)
- Memory: 128MB Flash / 256MB RAM
- Operating Frequency: Dual band 2.4GHz & 5GHz
- Wi-Fi Data Rate*:
- 802.11ac: up to 1300Mbps
- 802.11n: Up to 600Mbps
- 802.11a/g: Up to 54Mbps
- 802.11b: Up to 11Mbps
- *Quoted network speeds and bandwidth based on current IEEE specifications. Actual performance may be affected by network and service provider factors, interface type, and other conditions. Connected devices must be compatible for best results.
- 802.11ac Specification:
- MIMO: 3 x 4
- 20/40/80MHz bandwidth
- WPS button
- Power button
- Reset button
- WPS support
- Access Point
- Media Bridge
- Dimensions & weight: 178 x 106 x 106 mm; Weight: 870g
Pricing and availabilty were not announced. Full press release after the break.
Subject: Systems | February 6, 2016 - 11:30 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: msi, gs72, gaming laptop, laptop
This laptop was announced at CES, but barely. They have now released full specifications, including options, which are actually quite interesting. The 4K panel, in particular, has a color gamut that fully covers AdobeRGB (100%). This means that, if the hardware and software are properly calibrated, it is compatible with the color spaces that both video and print professionals tend to target. The latter is quite difficult, because magazine publishers actually have a large palette. Even the Wacom Cintiq 22HD only covers around 72% AdobeRGB.
Outside of this, the laptop has one processor choice: a Skylake-based Intel Core i7-6700HQ backed with up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM. There are three choices in GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 965M, and 970M. This could be disappointing for those hoping for desktop-class performance, although the 970M is pretty close to a GTX 680. It should handle games like Just Cause 3 and Rainbow Six Siege at around 50-60 FPS in 1080p mode. Basically, you are going to be dropping the 4K resolution down to about 1080p in games, but it's also a laptop and 4K in professional applications is quite nice. It also uses M.2 SSDs with PCIe 3.0 x4 bandwidth that communicates in the NVMe standard. They didn't say which one, or how large, but they claim read speeds of about 2.2GB/s.
They did not state pricing or availability. Its headlining feature is thickness -- just 1.99cm for a 17-inch display. This explains the GPU, but also suggests a premium price.
Introduction and Features
(Courtesy of EVGA)
EVGA continues to expand their already huge PC power supply line with the introduction of the GQ series, which are aimed at price conscious consumers who want good value while still maintaining many of the performance features found in EVGA’s premium models. The GQ Series contains four models ranging from 650W up to 1000W: the EVGA 650 GQ, 750 GQ, 850 GQ and 1000 GQ. We will be taking a detailed look at the 750 GQ in this review.
The GQ series power supplies are 80 Plus Gold certified for high efficiency and feature all modular cables, high-quality Japanese brand capacitors, and a quiet 135mm cooling fan with a fluid dynamic bearing. All GQ series power supplies are NVIDIA SLI and AMD Crossfire Ready and are backed by a 5-year warranty.
EVGA 750W GQ PSU Key Features:
• Fully modular cables to reduce clutter and improve airflow
• 80 PLUS Gold certified, with up to 90%/92% efficiency (115VAC/240VAC)
• 100% Japanese brand capacitors ensure long-term reliability
• Quiet 135mm Fluid Dynamic bearing fan for reliability and quiet operation
• ECO Intelligent Thermal Control allows silent, fan-less operation at low power
• NVIDIA SLI & AMD Crossfire Ready
• Ready for 4th Generation Intel Core Processors (C6/C7 Idle Mode)
• Compliant with ErP Lot 6 2013 Requirement
• Active Power Factor correction (0.99) with Universal AC input
• 5-Year warranty and EVGA Customer Support
EVGA was founded in 1999 with headquarters in Brea, California. They continue to specialize in producing NVIDIA based graphics adapters and Intel based motherboards and keep expanding their PC power supply product line, which currently includes thirty-eight models ranging from the high-end 1,600W SuperNOVA T2 to the budget minded EVGA 400W power supply.
(Courtesy of EVGA)
As you can see in the table above, EVGA currently offers seven different variations of 750W power supplies. Let’s get started with the review and see what makes this new 750W GQ model stand out from the rest.
Subject: General Tech | February 9, 2016 - 05:11 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amazon, AWS, game engine
Another video game engine has entered the world, this time from Amazon. It is basically a fork of CryEngine that they purchased the rights to sub-license. Amazon states that their engine will diverge over time, as they modify it in-house for licensees and their internal game studio, Amazon Game Studios. It is licensed for free, with full source access, but it has a few restrictions.
The market is currently dominated with a variety of offerings with different business models. Unreal Engine 4 is free to use, but takes a portion of revenue after some grace amount. CryEngine is available on a relatively cheap subscription, but has no royalty requirements. Unigine offers a few lump-sum options, starting at almost a grand-and-a-half. Unity has a few options, from a cut down free version, to a relatively expensive subscription, to lump-sum payments. Finally, at least for this list, Source 2 is completely free, with the only requirement that published games must be available on Steam at launch.
That last one, Source 2, is basically the business model that Amazon chose with their new Lumberyard engine. The difference is that, instead of requiring games to be published at a certain retailer, they require that games use Amazon Web Services for online interactions, like multiplayer and cloud, unless the developer maintains their own servers. I'm not exactly sure what that distinction ("If you own and operate your own private servers") allows, but I'd assume that Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud are big no-nos. On the other hand, single-player experiences and games with local multiplayer, assuming neither has “cloud” features, are completely free to make.
While it would be nice to have a purely open source offering that can compete with these proprietary engines, developers should be able to find a suitable option. Each seems to ask for something slightly different, and they are very permissive otherwise.
Subject: General Tech | February 9, 2016 - 02:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: razer, input, gaming keyboard, black widow ultimate
Razer has been pushing out updates to their Black Widow lineup of gaming keyboards and this years model just arrived at Kitguru. This year they are introducing a new type of mechanical switch for their keys, the model reviewed used their Green switches which click when depressed, there is a Razer Orange model for those who prefer to see their keyboard and not hear it. This is not an RGB keyboard but you can set effects such as wave, ripple, starlight and reactive through the Razer software. If you are looking for a new mechanical keyboard and want something a little different you should check out the full review.
"The Razer Black Widow has become very popular over the years, often being touted as one of the finest gaming keyboards around. Today, we are looking at the brand new 2016 edition, using Razer’s own high specification mechanical switches – could this be the best option for gamers in 2016?"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- ASUS Cerberus Gaming Peripherals Review – A Full Gaming Setup for Under £100! @ eTeknix
- Patriot Viper V760 Keyboard @ Modders-Inc
- SteelSeries Nimbus MFi Wireless iOS Controller @ eTeknix
- OZONE Argon Ocelote World Laser Gaming Mouse Review @ NikKTech
- Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mouse @ Tech ARP
- Roccat Kova 2016 Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 9, 2016 - 09:06 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: RGB, phanteks, mid-tower, enclosure, Eclipse Series, Eclipse P400S, Eclipse P400, case
Phanteks has announced a new enclosure series called ‘Eclipse’, which take the internal layout of the Enthoo lineup and packages it in a pair of affordable new enclosures; the P400 and P400S.
“Without much effort, the P400 allows users to create a clean and beautiful system. Ambient RGB illumination adds character while the solid metal exterior gives the case a simple elegant design. The P400 is suitable for beginners and experienced system builders with all the extra features; the P400S comes with sound damping panels and a 3-speed fan controller to enhance acoustical performance.”
The internal layout of these enclosures will be familiar to you if you’ve seen the Enthoo series, with an open main chamber, a bottom partition for the PSU and hard drives, and all storage accessible from behind the system. There are a couple of notable differences between the Eclipse P400 and P400S, primarily the latter’s noise-reducing insulation and the addition of a 3-speed fan controller.
Exploded view of Eclipse P400S
Side panel windows are available, with added style from the ambient RGB lighting on both models. The P400 and P400S are available in black, white, or grey, and the body panels are metal, which should contribute to a more premium feel.
- Form Factor: Mid-tower
- Materials: Steel chassis, steel exterior, ABS
- Motherboard Support: ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX, E-ATX (up to 272mm wide, cannot use rubber grommets)
- Expansion Slots: 7
- Internal 3.5” bays: 6x (2x trays included)
- Internal 2.5” bays (dedicated): 2x (2x included)
- 120 mm fan: Front, 3x (1 included); Top, 2x; Rear, 1x (1 included)
- 140 mm fan: Front, 2x; Top, 2x
- Front I/O: 2x USB 3.0, Mic, Headphone, Reset, LED control, 3-speed Fan controller (only available for P400S)
- Side Window: Yes (also available with closed panel)
- Soundproofing panels: (only available for P400S) Front/Top/Sides
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 210 x 465 x 470 mm (8.3 x 18.3 x 18.5 inches)
No specific release date was announced, but full suggested pricing information is available:
- Eclipse P400 (PH-EC416P) Black/Grey: $69.99 / White: $79.99
- Eclipse P400S (PH-EC416PS) Black/Grey: $79.99 / White: $89.99
- (P400S pricing identical for Silent Window and Silent Closed Panel versions)
Subject: General Tech | February 9, 2016 - 03:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: portable speakers, OTONE, Inateck, headphones, Fugoo, audio
The Inquirer put together a list of their favourite audio products so far this year, perhaps the list will not match yours but perhaps there is a product named which you have not heard of yet. From portable speakers to earbuds that wrap around your wrist when you are not using them they cover a variety of products. Check out the list and see if any of these products are worthy of spending your hard earned money on.
"THOUSANDS OF NEW audio products are released every year. Sometimes the big names are the best, but at other times there are hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Here's our guide to the headphones, speakers and other audio gems that will float our boat during 2016."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Kanto Yaro 2 Amplifier & Speakers Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Jabra ROX Wireless In-Ear Stereo Earbuds Review @ NikKTechE
- Edifier H840 Headphones Review @ Hardware Canucks
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