Author:
Manufacturer: Quakecon

Introduction, expert discussion panels, hardware workshop

Introduction

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The final day of Quakecon 2012 featured more expert discussion panels from leaders in the gaming industry about the latest games people at Quakecon were excited about like Dishonored, Halo 4, and Borderlands 2 to name a few. We also hosted our annual hardware workshop and gave away more than $30,000 worth of hardware and prizes to over 2,000 workshop attendees!

 

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The BYOC area and exhibit hall also reached capacity for Quakecon attendees to see the semi-finals for the annual Bawls chugging competition and play in Tribes: Ascend mini tournaments at the Alienware exhibit. We also got a demonstration of John Carmack's original prototype virtual reality headset that he initially debuted at E3 this year. Carmack is working with Oculus Rift to design VR headsets for gaming that include stereoscopic 3D and a wide 110-degree field of view. The day concluded with a huge party to watch the annual case mod contest finals, Bawls chugging finals, and Quake Live finals. 

 

Read more about our coverage from Day 3 of Quakecon 2012!

Check out our coverage from Day 1 and Day 2 of Quakecon 2012!

 

NVIDIA GTX 660 Ti May Be Pricier Than Gamers Have Been Hoping For

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 5, 2012 - 05:33 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 660ti, graphics cards, gaming

Update: US-based retailers are starting to list the GTX 660 Ti as well, and at least one card is listed for $299, so there may be some hope despite the $349.99 MSRP. See the $299 PNY GTX 660 Ti graphics card here.

The GTX 660 Ti is an NVIDIA Kepler-based graphics card that has seen several leaks and even a full review ahead of official release. In the leaked review, rumored specifications were confirmed, and the card was shown to be very close to the existing GTX 670 GPU. Sometimes it was merely a couple of frames behind the $400+ GPU.

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On the podcast, Ryan, Josh, and Jeremy speculated that–should the GTX 660 Ti be priced closer to the $300 mark in the rumored $300-400 pricing–it would be a very desirable gaming graphics card. Hardware-wise, the GTX 660 Ti is nearly identical to the GTX 670, and only sees a reduction in the memory bus from 256-bit to 192-bit. For a $100 cheaper card, gamers would be getting extremely close to the performance of the much more expensive GTX 670 Kepler card.

Unfortunately, it may not be the gaming card that people have been hoping for. According to Tom’s Hardware, a Swedish retailer has listed the GTX 660 Ti on its website for pre-orders at just under $400. At that price point, the GTX 660 Ti is much less desirable, and will be hard to justify versus springing for the GTX 670 for a bit more money.

Here’s hoping that the pre-order pricing is simply higher than the prices people will see once actual cards from NVIDIA and partners are officially released en masse. Do you think that there is still hope for the GTX 660 Ti as the gaming card of choice, or will you be looking elsewhere? 

A mech game for those who really like mech modification

Subject: General Tech | August 1, 2012 - 09:07 AM |
Tagged: gaming, mech

If heatsink placement and weapon load balancing is up your alley then the pre-alpha of M.A.V. should be on your watch list.  At heart it is a mech combat game but one built with micromanagers at heart as you can design your mechs from scratch, balancing weapons with recoil and heat to make the best mech you can imagine.  Even better, you can alter your mech in-game to allow you to modify your mech to best met the current conditions on the map.  Currently the game is far more about mech design than game play, which should hopefully change over time as the developer works on the game.  There will be credits you can earn during a match to add better armament to your mech or to purchase defence and repair buildings.  In the meantime you can download the demo and play with mech design, though perhaps you should not use Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN's mohawk of doom as your starting point.

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"Do you enjoy meticulously tweaking the most microscopically tiny details of giant robots? If I cut you, will you bleed gears and heat sinks and perfectly balanced 47-ton rocket pods? Then perhaps M.A.V. – a customization-centric game of mechanized madness from one-man show Bombdog Studios – will strike your fancy. Its creator notes that he’s worked on both Borderlands games and cites Armored Core and the tragically under-appreciated Chromehounds as longtime favorites. Unsurprisingly, the current (read: pre-alpha) result wears its influences on its semi-cel-shaded sleeve."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Join ASUS and PC Per At Fry’s For a ROG Gaming Event

Subject: General Tech | July 27, 2012 - 11:35 AM |
Tagged: ROG, patriot, gaming, fry's, event, asus, antec

As Ryan alluded to in last night’s podcast, there is an upcoming event at the Fry’s Electronics store in Sunnyvale, California on the last weekend in July – the 28th and 29th. Specifically, it is the second-annual Republic of Gamers @ Fry’s event held by popular motherboard manufacturer ASUS. ASUS, in concert with NVIDIA, Antec, and Patriot Memory will be on hand to answer your questions and listen to your comments. As a gaming-oriented event, the company has lined up several events for the whole family – from casual to hardcore gamers – and has brought along tons of ROG-branded hardware for you to check out. Some of the hardware on hand will include ASUS’ Maximus V Extreme and Maximus V Formula Z77 motherboards, its G75 laptops, and Vulcan Active Noise Canceling Headphones. There will also be prize giveaways both in person and online through the various social networks (for those that can’t make it in person).

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Gaming hardware spans from the ASUS Transformer tablets to custom high-end gaming machines that will be available for you to play a number of different games.

The other major event is a panel hosted by PC Perspective’s own Ryan Shrout who will be entertaining the audience along with several hardware manufacturers. The topics of discussion will include tips for first time PC builders, advanced overclocking techniques, general hardware goodness, and a question and answer section where you will get a chance to get answers from the hardware manufacturers on your important questions!

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It’s is going to be a really fun time, and you will be able to see Ryan and bug him about the podcast videos and give him (good!) feedback on the site. We are excited about it and hope to see you all there! We previously mentioned a question and answer section, and one way to ask if you can’t make it is use the comments section below this post where Ryan will do his best to get you good answers!

Below are the full details on the where and when.

Location:

Fry’s Electronics
1077 East Arques Ave.
Sunnyvale, CA 94085

When:

July 28th-29th 2012 (Saturday and Sunday) from 11am to 6pm

Misc:

Admission is free.

ASUS will be providing $0.50 hot dogs and Coke, the money from which will go towards local charities.

Of course, there is a Facebook page for more information and to RSVP. Visit http://goo.gl/Lxkdl for more event details and follow #ROGexperience to stay up-to-date on the latest event information and for some great on-site giveaways.

Source: ASUS
Author:
Subject: Editorial
Manufacturer:

Introduction, Hardware To Look For

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Every year the college I graduated from, Beloit College, publishes its not-that-famous “mindset list.” It’s a collection of one-liners, such as “Clint Eastwood is better known as a director than as Dirty Harry,” meant to humorously remind professors that the experiences of their generation are not the same as the generation about to show up in their classrooms.
 
I’ve sometimes felt a need for a similar reminder among gamers. Arcade classics like Pac-Man and DOS legends such as Prince Of Persia are often cited in conversations of old-school gaming, yet many gamers (including myself) never enjoyed the experience of playing these titles when they first hit store shelves. 
 
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I enjoyed a different generation of classics. My original copy of Interstate ’76 is nestled in a binder of old CDs. A boxed copy of Mechwarrior 2 sits on my book shelf. I have Baldur’s Gate, Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, Total Annihilation 2, Starcraft, SimCity 2000, The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall and Age of Empires II, to name a few. These were my formative gaming experiences. Some have always been with me  – others, lost or destroyed, have been re-acquired from thrift stores for a few bucks each.
 
Yet I can’t play most of these games without buying them again (via a service like Good Old Games) or resorting to virtualization. The reliability of Window’s compatibility mode is spotty to say the least.
Even if a game does run on my Windows 7 PC, something is missing. The old controllers of yesterday usually don’t agree with – or can’t physically connect to – my modern desktop. The graphics, designed for the CRT era, often don’t translate well to a high-resolution LCD. Random bugs and errors can occur, stopping the games in their tracks.
 
I’ve finally decided that there is only one solution. If you want to run a game from the 1990s and enjoy them properly you should also have hardware that can play games from that era as originally intended. That means putting together a legacy gaming system.
 
This is something that I think anyone should be able to do without spending more than $150. But can you, and if so, is it worth your time?
 
 

So much for gamers enthusiasm about PCIe 3.0

Subject: General Tech | July 18, 2012 - 12:15 PM |
Tagged: Ivy Bridge, pci 3.0, gaming

[H]ard|OCP has some bad news for current or expecting Ivy Bridge users; that whole PCIe 3.0 thing is not going to make your games run faster.  It is not unexpected that a newly introduced technology has little to no impact when first released but since this was an update to a basic piece of architecture there were hopes that we would see an effect. During their testing only two games showed any improvement and those could be attributed to the Ivy Bridge processor its self and not PCIe 3.0.  There are other reasons to upgrade to Ivy Bridge but if your main drive is to take advantage of a PCIe 3.0 compliant GPU, CPU and motherboard then you might want to hold off.  PCIe SSDs on the other hand should show some differences when contrasted with the previous architecture.

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"Wondering about upgrading to the new Ivy Bridge CPU and PCI Express 3.0 platform? Curious to know if you'll be gaining or losing performance? We compare single, dual-GPU, triple-GPU, single, and multiple display configurations on Ivy Bridge PCIe 3.0 and Sandy Bridge on PCIe 2.0 platforms."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Source: [H]ard|OCP
Author:
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction

Following the successful launch of its HS1 headset, Corsair has come back with a Vengeance line of gaming peripherals including three new headsets. Included in the new lineup are the 1100, 1300, and 1500 gaming headsets.

The Vengeance 1100 is the smallest of the three gaming headsets, and features a behind-the-head headphone design using 40mm drivers and an unidirectional boom microphone extending from the left speaker. The 1100 can be connected via two analog 3.5mm audio jacks or by USB with the included adapter.

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Continue reading our review of the Corsair Vengeance 1300 and 1500 headsets!!

Revisiting single GPU and triple monitor gaming

Subject: General Tech | July 11, 2012 - 11:06 AM |
Tagged: triple, multi monitor, gaming

One of the biggest arguments for NVIDIA Surround and AMD EyeFinity is cost, depending on the size of monitor you choose you can get three 1080p displays for half to 2/3's the price of a single 30" LCD and end up with around about half again as many pixels.  You do end up with bezels in the way but choosing a monitor with a thin bezel can help as does the tools the drivers offer which help you offset your display to cope with the bezels.  With new drivers available, The Tech Report tested gaming on both the GTX680 and the HD7970 on three Asus 24" ProArt PA246Q LCDs.  Check out the performance differences as well as getting an idea how high you can turn up your graphics options when gaming at 5760x1200 on a single GPU.

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"Three-screen setups might be the best upgrade for gamers. We surround ourselves with a wrap-around config to see how the latest games and graphics cards fare."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Gaikai Beta Available Now On Samsung Smart TVs

Subject: General Tech | July 3, 2012 - 09:15 PM |
Tagged: onlive competitor, gaming, gaikai, cloud gaming

At AFDS, David Perry showed off the cloud gaming service Gaikai running on Samsung's Smart Televisions where he hinted that a closed beta might become available soon. Despite my concerns following the acquisition of Gaikai by Sony, the beta application showed up today as being available for download. We managed to snag a few photos of the app and the setup process, as seen below.

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The Gaikai application tile in the Samsung Smart Hub

 

After upgrading to the latest (just released) firmware, which is version 1023.0 at time of writing, the application tile for Gaikai becomes available. The easiest way to upgrade the TV’s firmware is to force an update by navigating to the TV's menu, then clicking on "Support," and finally selecting the Software Update option. Alternatively, users can download the firmware from the Samsung website and place it on a USB flash drive.

 

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After clicking on the app tile (which is only shown for a few seconds at a time) in the Samsung Smart Hub, you can download it to your TV. After the application runs through a few tests, you are presented with an access code to use on the Gaikai.com website. After obtaining the access code, you will need to go to the Gaikai website and enter it. From there, you will need to go through a couple of steps and enter a few bits of personal information to sign up for the beta program. Right now, they are running a promotion where the first 150 people that sign up for (and are accepted into) the beta will receive a Logitech game pad. We understand the input requirement will be with any Xinput compatible controller, but Gaikai seems to favor the Logitech 310, 510, and 710 controllers, as seen when they gave a live demo to Engadget last month.

 

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The Samsung Cloud Gaming application is currently at version 9.1121 and is a 20.4MB download. You can obtain the app from the Smart Hub, as mentioned above. If you don't see this firmware and/or the app, your set might not yet be supported or simply be too old to support the beta. The service is expected to require a 7000 Series or higher Samsung Smart TV. Initial support is for 2012 models, but that support may be rolled back to earlier units as the beta progresses.

 

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Interestingly, this beta application and its accompanying firmware have both gone live with little fanfare from either company. If you own a Samsung TV and want a chance to get in on the beta, be sure to update your TV’s firmware and sign up for the Gaikai beta as soon as possible. If you have managed to get into the beta, we encourage you to test out the service and join the discussion in the comments section below (no registration required).

 

Stay tuned for more information on the Gaikai Samsung Smart TV beta as we get it! As soon as we are accepted into the beta, we will try to test the service out and report back.

 

Author:
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Gigabyte

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of Gigabyte

PC gaming is alive and well and hardware vendors are working to create unique features in their product lines to entice this niche audience. Gigabyte has always had a soft spot for gamers who want the best components for their LAN rigs so they can own their friends in any game genre they choose to play. Gigabyte has broadened their product line to include performance gaming mice, keyboards, and PC cases. They also have a line of "G1-Killer" motherboards that Gigabyte claims is designed with 3D gaming in mind. One of their latest boards in the G1-Killer series is the G1.Sniper M3, and just happen to have a sample that we are reviewing today.

 

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Courtesy of Gigabyte

The G1.Sniper M3 was designed into a micro ATX form factor that sports Intel's latest Z77 Express chipset and supports the third generation of Intel's LGA 1155 "Ivy Bridge" processors. It is challenging to pack enough performance features and overclocking options onto a micro ATX footprint, but Gigabyte's G1.Sniper M3 has broken the code in this department. This $180 board includes a digital power phase design with auto voltage compensation, dual UEFI BIOS, and an onboard Creative Sound Core3D quad-core audio processor for rich, high-definition audio.

Continue reading our review of the Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 LGA 1155 Micro ATX Motherboard!!