Freespace picked back up by Interplay ... almost good news

Subject: General Tech | June 12, 2013 - 02:37 PM |
Tagged: freespace, gaming, interplay

Interplay were the original owners of the Freespace IP and sold it off to THQ, who did absolutely nothing with it and apparently did not see any value in it as THQ just sold it back to Interplay for a mere $7500.  This is not necessarily good news as Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN points out Interplay is not necessarily the healthiest company right now.  So far there is no news about future releases nor really anything apart from the transfer of ownership, but at least we know Freespace is still somewhat alive.

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"Yes, Interplay, the company who’s only slightly more existent than THQ at this point. The publisher sealed the deal with a cool-as-an-airless-vacuum sum of $7500, which is a disturbingly small amount of my total yearly rent. If I moved someplace else, I could own Freespace. Right now. I will carry this regret to my deathbed."

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Gaming

Computex 2013: EVGA Shows Off Latest MiniBox Chassis With Support For High End GPUs

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 6, 2013 - 10:31 AM |
Tagged: evga, minibox, mini-itx, gtx titan, gk110, gaming, computex, computex 2013

First shown off at CES 2013, the EVGA Minibox is a small form factor chassis for Mini-ITX systems that can accommodate large graphics cards. EVGA has managed to enable users to pack a lot of hardware into this tiny form factor chassis. As a demonstration of the case's capabilities, the company showed off the latest version using a full system build with Core i7-4770K and GTX TITAN interals at Computex this week in Taipei.

The Minibox chassis itself is a dark brushed metal case with two USB 3.0 ports on the front IO and space for a slot loading optical drive. The MiniBox chassis further features a motherboard tray that supports Mini-ITX boards, two 2.5" SATA hard drive bays – and best of all – enough room to install full size GPUs. In order to support lengthy graphics cards, EVGA is including a small form factor 500W power supply that is mounted on the floor of the case..

HEXUS Spots EVGA Minibox At Computex 2013.jpg

HEXUS reporters spot the EVGA Minibox at Computex 2013. Look how small it is!

There will be at least two SKUs of the Minibox, depending on whether you want to go with air or water cooling. According to Bit-Tech.net, the air cooled version will use two 92mm fans in the top of the case and one 80mm fan for the bottom-mounted PSU. The water cooled SKU will be slightly larger but have enough room for a water cooling radiator (likely 240mm). Beyond that, details are scarce, but the air cooled version is said to be available as soon as next month with water cooled options becoming available later this year.

The Minibox looks to be one of the better Mini-ITX cases out there (although the price is still unknown), and should be popular among enthusiasts wanting a small box that does not sacrifice gaming potential.

Source: HEXUS

Get your game on in a simulated prison

Subject: General Tech | June 5, 2013 - 03:34 PM |
Tagged: gaming, Alpha, Prison Architect

The makers of DEFCON have come up with another very original game idea which they are currently developing and which is available in an alpha version on Steam.  Prison Architect is a game which is exactly as it's name implies, you attempt to run a prison and keep the guards safe and the prisoners controlled.  This is not about abusing prisoners but instead is an exploration into the dynamics of the prison system and how difficult it can be to run a safe prison.  As an example of how the prisoners work the designers revealed to TechSpot that "50% of prisoners plead innocent to their crimes, and about 5% of all prisoners are actually innocent" which has an effect on their behaviour.  Check out the interview to see if you might be interested in trying out the alpha.

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"Prison Architect is like 'SimPrison', if there ever was one, made by people who seem to be damn near fearless about making video games about uncomfortable topics. The game is from the indie studio Introversion, who have also made the saddest/best game about nuclear war.

Here's a brief interview with Introversion's own architects about their newest work. They served up some fascinating answers about the possibilities of a game about building and running a prison."

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Gaming

Source: TechSpot

Computex 2013: ASUS Reveals New ROG Gaming and Overclocking Hardware

Subject: General Tech, Motherboards, Systems, Shows and Expos | June 4, 2013 - 04:36 AM |
Tagged: z87, ROG, Maximus VI Formula, maximus vi, Intel, haswell, gaming, g30, crosschill, computex 2013, computex, asus

During an ASUS ROG press conference at Computex 2013 in Taipei, Taiwan, ASUS launched a number of new bits of hardware aimed at PC gamers and overclocking enthusiasts. In addition to the mini ITX Maximus VI Impact launch, ASUS showed off the ASUS Maximus VI Formula motherboard, OC Panel accessory, and ROG G30 desktop. The available details on each piece of hardware is as follows:

ASUS Maximus VI Formula Motherboard

While ASUS hinted at several of its Z87 motherboards last month by allowing us to post teaser photos ahead of the launch, until today enthusiasts have not seen the latest "Formula" motherboard. However, now that the board is official, you can see the new Z87 motherboard in high resolution photos below!

ASUS Maximus VI Formula Z87 Motherboard with SupremeFX and CrossChill.jpg

The board comes in red and black colors, and surprisingly, comes equipped with ASUS' thermal armor accessory which includes a plastic shroud for the front of the motherboard and a SECC back-plate with thermal pads to aid in cooling and supporting the motherboard (even with heavy CPU HSFs). In addition to the thermal armor, the board has finned heatsinks on the PCH and VRM hardware. The VRM heatsink in particular uses the company's CrossChill technology which allows user to integrate the VRM heatsink into their water cooling loop or leave it as air-cooled. The board also features a diagnostic display and start/reset buttons.

The ASUS Maximus VI Formula features a LGA 1150 CPU socket, four dual channel DDR3 DIMM slots, three PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots, three PCI-E 3.0 x1 slots and a total of 10 SATA 3 6Gbps ports.

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The rear IO panel includes a mPCI-E Combo II card that supports 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless radios along with a M.2 NGFF (Next Generation Form Factor) SSD slot at the top. Other IO includes:

  • 4 x USB 2.0 ports (one used for BIOS flashing)
  • 6 x USB 3.0 ports
  • 2 x HDMI video outputs
  • 1 x S/PDIF connector
  • 1 x RJ45 Gigabit LAN
  • 6 x analog audio jacks

Overclocking technology includes ASUS' Extreme Engine DIGI+ III power delivery that incorporates 60A BlackWing chokes, (90% efficient) NexFET MOSFETs, and 10K Black Metallic capacitors.

Finally, ASUS has also added a SupremeFX chipset for quality onboard audio. This audio chip is capable of 120dB SNR, a headphone amplifier for 600 ohm cans, EMI shielding, and quality OpAMPs.

ASUS OC Panel Overclocking Accessory

The ASUS OC Panel is a hardware accessory for the company's ROG Maximus VI Extreme motherboard. It allows you to adjust the BCLK and other settings related to overclocking your processor in real time. It also provides CPU temperature feedback on the top of the LED display.

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According to the press release, overclockers Andre Yang and Shamino managed to push a system with a Maximus VI Extreme motherboard, 32GB RAM, and a Core-i7 Haswell processor to 7GHz CPU and 4200MHz clockspeed using liquid nitrogen cooling. It looks like a cool accessory that will allow you to easily adjust the overclocking settings without rebooting into the UEFI BIOS. Pricing and availability have not been announced, but expect it soon.

ASUS ROG G30 Gaming Desktop

The ROG TYTAN G30 desktop PC features a stylized case with red LEDs and a front door with ROG and ASUS logos. Internals include an Intel Core i7 4770K "Haswell" processor and a NVIDIA GTX 780 graphics card. Even better, ASUS is using liquid cooling for the CPU, and offers a 1-button overclock of all four CPU cores to 4.1GHz. The PC also integrates ASUS' SonicMaster and AudioWizard technology which reportedly enhances in-game audio.

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Again, pricing and availability for the haswell gaming PC are still unknown.

What do you think of ASUS' recent ROG product announcements? Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more Computex 2013 news throughout the week!

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Source: ASUS

Computex 2013: ASUS Hosting Computex Livestream Tonight

Subject: General Tech | June 2, 2013 - 11:55 PM |
Tagged: livestream, gaming, computex 2013, asus

ASUS will be kicking off Computex 2013 with a livestream where the company will likely announce new products. The theme for the event is "We transform". The press conference will be held at 38 Songren Road Xinyi District, Taipei, 101 Taiwan, but for those not in attendance the livestream is in approximately 3 hours and allow enthusaists and press to cover the event from afar.

If you are a 'night owl,' insomniac, or just plain excited about new ASUS gear feel free to tune into the livestream at this link (or via the embedded stream below the break) and discuss any announcements in the comments below!

The livestream and press conference starts at 3:00am ET (3:00pm local Computex time).

I am expecting to see some new motherboards, graphics cards, and PCs from ASUS to complement the launch of Intel and NVIDIA's new CPU and GPU components. Perhaps we will finally see the launch of the rumored RAIDR PCI-E SSDs. It should make for a good show, so tune in if you can!

While you are waiting for the live stream to start, feel fee to check out Morry's review of the ASUS ROG Maximus VI Extreme Motherboard, a new Z87 motherboard!

Source: ASUS

Origin PC Integrating Haswell CPUs and GTX 700M Hardware Into New PCs

Subject: Systems, Mobile | June 2, 2013 - 07:18 PM |
Tagged: quadro k1000m, origin pc, nvidia, kepler, Intel, haswell, gtx 700M, gaming, eon17-s, eon15-s

Origin PC has announced that it will be integrating Haswell CPUs and GTX700M GPUs into its line of gaming notebooks and desktops. Specifically, Origin PC will add Haswell CPUs to its Genesis, Millennium, and Chronos desktop PCs. Origin PC is also outfitting its EON gaming laptops with both Haswell CPU and GTX700M GPU upgrades. And to sweeten the pot (if only slightly), Origin is bundling a voucher for Grid 2 with each Haswell-equipped Origin PC order.

Origin PC EON15-S Haswell Notebook with GTX700M GPU_angle photo.jpg

Both the EON15-S and EON17-S gaming laptops feature Intel Haswell processors, NVIDIA GTX700M or Quadro K1000M mobile graphics cards, and up to five storage drives when the optical drive is removed. The laptops are even able to have an independent RAID of two mSATA SSDs and two hard drives or SSDs along with a non-RAID storage drive in the optical bay—that's a lot of storage for a laptop!

Origin PC EON17-S Gaming Laptop with Haswell and GTX 700M hardware.jpg

The laptops come with customizable display lids available in red, black, silver, or a custom air brush as well as back-lit keyboards and touchpads. As the SKU names suggest, the EON15-S has a 15.6” display while the EON17-S has a 13.3” display. Origin PC is further offering factory overclocking for the Haswell processors and GTX700M graphics cards. The company claims up to a 20-times power reduction during idle thanks to the more power-efficient hardware.

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Unfortunately, all this new tech comes at a premium, and the EON15-S and EON17-S gaming notebooks start at $1,722 and $1,784 respectively. As far as the desktops go, there is also a slight bump in price depending on the Haswell chip you select during the customization process. Upgrading to an Intel Core i7-4770K on the GENESIS desktop costs an extra $193, for example.

You can find more information on the Origin PC website.

Source: Engadget

Zotac Announces Factory Overclocked GTX 770 Cards, AMP! Edition Is Fastest So Far

Subject: General Tech | June 1, 2013 - 10:50 PM |
Tagged: zotac, gtx 770, gk-104, gaming

Not to be left out, GPU partner Zotac has announced its own set of graphics cards based on NVIDIA's GK-104 GTX 770 GPU called the GTX 770 and GTX 770 AMP! Edition. Both cards come with Zotac's custom dual fan cooler and have some impressive factory overclocks. In fact, the GTX 770 AMP! Edition is the fastest factory clocked GTX 770 so far, and is the only card to feature overclocked memory.

Zotac GTX 770 4GB.JPG

The Zotac Geforce GTX 770 features a GPU base clock of 1059 MHz and a GPU boost clock of 1098 MHz. It will be available with either 2GB or 4GB of GDDR5 memory. In either memory configuration, Zotac is keeping the GDDR5 at the stock clockspeed of 7010 MHz.

Meanwhile, the GTX 770 AMP! Edition has GPU clockspeeds of 1150 MHz base and an impressive 1202 MHz boost. However, the GTX 770 AMP! does not only feature an overclocked GPU, but overclocked memory at 7200 MHz.

Zotac GTX 770 AMP! Edition.jpg

The chart below compares the two Zotac graphics cards.

  Zotac GTX 770 Zotac GTX 770 AMP! Edition
GPU Base 1059 MHz 1150 MHz
GPU Boost 1098 MHz 1202 MHz
Memory 2GB or 4GB 2GB
Memory Clock 7010 MHz 7200 MHz

Both of the Zotac graphics cards also come with a Splinter Cell game bundle that includes three (digital download) games:

  • Splinter Cell: Double Agent
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction
  • Splinter Cell: Blacklist (will be release later this summer)

As far as pricing and availability, the GTX 770 (ZT-70301-10P) is on sale now at Newegg for $400, but the 4GB GTX 770 and GTX 770 AMP! have not yet been released by the looks of it, and Zotac has not announced official pricing or ship dates yet. More information can be found here. The AMP! Edition has some impressive factory overclocks, and the benchmarks should be interesting.

Source: Zotac

GPU beatdown, Metro Last Light edition

Subject: General Tech | May 29, 2013 - 02:47 PM |
Tagged: gaming, metro last light

Metro 2033 quickly gained a reputation as a game which can take everything a modern GPU could throw at it and still want more.  Now we have not only a new generation of Metro but also some new hardware to test it with, namely the TITAN and the GTX 780 which are now in [H]ard|OCP's test bed.  They tried out the new game at 2560 x 1600 with high tessellation enabled and found the TITAN to be the overall winner thanks to its ability to support PhysX at these high settings, with the GTX 780 a very close second and perhaps a better choice for those not planning on using PhysX.  Their testing also backs up the developers statement that in order to enable SSAA you will need a second GPU.

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"Today we look at 4A Games Metro: Last Light. Running the 4A Engine it supports modern DX11 effects including tessellation, and NVIDIA PhysX, providing realistic simulations of particles, water, cloth and fog. We'll evaluate this game using today's latest video cards including GTX TITAN and GTX 780, for a total of eight video cards."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

MSI Launches GX70 and GX60 Gaming Notebooks Powered By AMD Richland APUs

Subject: Systems | May 21, 2013 - 08:21 PM |
Tagged: Richland, msi, gx70, gx60, gaming notebook, gaming, APU, amd

MSI announced two new gaming notebooks powered by AMD's latest Richland APUs today called the GX70 and GX60. Both gaming notebooks use AMD A10-5750M processors, a discrete AMD graphics card, 8GB of RAM, and a 750GB (7200 RPM) hard drive. Other shared specifications include a Killer E2200 NIC, Blu-ray drive, THX certified speakers, a headphone amp, and a large 9-cell battery.

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The GX70 is the largest of the two gaming notebooks at 8.6 pounds and packing a 17.3” display. The GX70 uses the A10-5750M APU and a Radeon 8970M discrete mobile GPU to deliver gaming performance to the 1080p display. The system is also capable of outputting to multiple displays over HDMI and supports AMD's Eyefinity 3D technology. On the outside, the MSI GX70 features a 17.3” 1920 x 1080p display with an anti-reflective coating as well as a SteelSeries gaming keyboard.

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Meanwhile, the MSI GX60 is a 15-inch notebook that weighs 7.7 pounds. This gaming notebook uses an AMD A10-5750M APU and a Radeon 7970M mobile discrete GPU. Further, the GX60 has a 15.6” 1080p anti-reflective display and SteelSeries gaming keyboard.

MSI-GX70.jpg

MSI claims that the new AMD Richland APUs will give its gaming notebooks much better battery life. The new GX70 and GX60 will have up to 40% better graphical performance compared to previous generations thanks to the new APUs and discrete cards. According to MSI VP of Sales Andy Tung, “the GX70 and GX60 deliver the ultimate sensory experience for both professional and amateur gamers.” More information on the new gaming notebooks can be found on this MSI press release.

Source: MSI
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Lenovo

Introduction and Design

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While Lenovo hasn’t historically been known for its gaming PCs, it’s poised to make quite a splash with the latest entry in its IdeaPad line. Owing little to the company’s business-oriented roots, the Y500 aims to be all power—moreso than any other laptop from the manufacturer to date—tactfully squeezed into a price tag that would normally be unattainable given the promised performance. But can it succeed?

Our Y500 review unit can be had for $1,249 at Newegg and other retailers, or for as low as $1,180 at Best Buy. Lenovo also sells customizable models, though the price is generally higher. Here’s the full list of specifications:

specs.png

The configurations offered by Lenovo range in price fairly widely, from as low as $849 for a model sporting 8 GB of RAM with a single GT 650M with 2 GB GDDR5. The best value is certainly this configuration that we received, however.

What’s so special about it? Well, apart from the obvious (powerful quad-core CPU and 16 GB RAM), this laptop actually includes two NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M GPUs (both with 2 GB GDDR5) configured in SLI. Seeing as it’s just a 15.6-inch model, how does it manage to do that? By way of a clever compromise: the exchange of the usual optical drive for an Ultrabay, something normally only seen in Lenovo’s ThinkPad line of laptops. So I guess the Y500 does owe a little bit of its success to its business-grade brethren after all.

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In our review unit (and in the particular configuration noted above), this Ultrabay comes prepopulated with the second GT 650M, equipped with its own heatsink/fan and all. The addition of this GPU effectively launches the Y500 into high-end gaming laptop territory—at least on the spec sheet. Other options for the Ultrabay also exist (sold separately), including a DVD burner and a second hard drive. The bay is easily removable via a switch on the back of the PC (see below).

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Continue Reading our review of the Lenovo IdeaPad Y500!