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Subject: Graphics Cards | October 24, 2014 - 03:44 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: radeon, R9 290X, leaderboard, hwlb, hawaii, amd, 290x
When NVIDIA launched the GTX 980 and GTX 970 last month, it shocked the discrete graphics world. The GTX 970 in particular was an amazing performer and undercut the price of the Radeon R9 290 at the time. That is something that NVIDIA rarely does and we were excited to see some competition in the market.
AMD responded with some price cuts on both the R9 290X and the R9 290 shortly thereafter (though they refuse to call them that) and it seems that AMD and its partners are at it again.
Looking on Amazon.com today we found several R9 290X and R9 290 cards at extremely low prices. For example:
- XFX Radeon R9 290X Double D - $299 (after MIR)
- Gigabyte R9 290X WindForce - $360
- MSI R9 290X Gaming - $366
The R9 290X's primary competition in terms of raw performance is the GeForce GTX 980, currently selling for $549 and up. If you can find them in stock, that means NVIDIA has a hill of $250 to climb when going against the lowest priced R9 290X.
The R9 290 looks interesting as well:
Several other R9 290 cards are selling for upwards of $300-320 making them bone-headed decisions if you can get the R9 290X for the same or lower price, but considering the GeForce GTX 970 is selling for at least $329 today (if you can find it) and you can see why consumers are paying close attention.
Will NVIDIA make any adjustments of its own? It's hard to say right now since stock is so hard to come by of both the GTX 980 and GTX 970 but it's hard to imagine NVIDIA lowering prices as long as parts continue to sell out. NVIDIA believes that its branding and technologies like G-Sync make GeForce cards more valuable and until they being to see a shift in the market, I imagine that will stay the course.
For those of you that utilize our Hardware Leaderboard you'll find that Jeremy has taken these prices into account and update a couple of the system build configurations.
Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2014 - 01:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: watercooler, Nepton 240M, Nepton, cooler master, all in one
As with the previous generation the new Nepton 240M is designed with "ultra-fine micro channel" technology which quadruples the surface area of the radiator but does provide more resistance to air travelling through the rad. Installation was a breeze with only one small issue with the gasket which was easily solved. The Tech Report were more than happy with the new Silencio fans which stayed under 40dB under load, in fact the noise barely changed when compared to when the computer was idle. The pump was also reasonably quiet and powerful enough to keep the CPU nice and cool though at a cost, the new Nepton 120M has an MSRP of $130.
"The Nepton 240M is a big liquid cooler with a price to match. We strapped it to TR's Casewarmer to see whether it could take the heat."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Cooler Master Nepton 240M Liquid CPU Cooler @HiTech Legion
- Cool and Quiet, Like a Ninja: Cooler Master Nepton 240M CPU Cooler Review @ Techgage
- Cooler Master Nepton 240M Liquid Radiator @ Benchmark Reviews
- Cooler Master Nepton 240M Liquid CPU Cooler @ Kitguru
- Deepcool Maelstrom 240 Liquid Cooler Review @ Neoseeker
- Thermalright Macho Zero Passive CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- Gelid SpeedTouch 6 Fan Controller @ eTeknix
- Upgrading your CPU cooler with Kitguru TV
- Silverstone Grandia GD10 HTPC Chassis @ eTeknix
- Fractal Core 3300 ATX Mid Tower Case Review @ Modders-Inc
- Thermaltake Core V71 Case Review @ TechwareLabs
- Antec ISK 600 @ techPowerUp
- SilverStone Fortress FT05 90 Degree ATX Full Tower @ [H]ard|OCP
Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2014 - 12:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: dirty pool, online retailers, wretched hive of scum and villany, airlines
Have you noticed that prices seem to creep up slightly every time you visit an online ticket site hoping for a deal? As many are probably already aware, the cookies dumped on your machine when you browse allow the sites to keep track of how many times you have visited a site and can base their pricing off of that count. In other cases they can tell if you are browsing their sites mobile device version or the desktop site and of course if you are logged in as a member or not. So far none of these practices is technically illegal but they are also laughably easy to defeat. Simply browsing in anonymous mode, clearing your cookies or even just using a different device will reset those prices and is a habit you should get into. Slashdot has linked to a PDF which details many of these questionable practices and of course those ever polite commentators under the headline will offer sage and on topic advice.
"For instance, the study found, users logged in to Cheaptickets and Orbitz saw lower hotel prices than shoppers who were not registered with the sites. Home Depot shoppers on mobile devices saw higher prices than users browsing on desktops. Some searchers on Expedia and Hotels.com consistently received higher-priced options, a result of randomized testing by the websites. Shoppers at Sears, Walmart, Priceline, and others received results in a different order than control groups, a tactic known as “steering.”
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Surface Pro 3 and Xbox sales push Microsoft Q1 revenue to $23.2bn @ The Inquirer
- Android 5.0 Lollipop to land on Samsung Galaxy S5 in December @ The Inquirer
- DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets @ The Register
- Adobe spies on readers: EVERY DRM page turn leaked to base over SSL @ The Register
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 23, 2014 - 04:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: xfx, R9 285 Black Edition, factory overclocked, amd
Currently sitting at $260 the XFX R9 285 Black Edition is a little less expensive than the ASUS ROG STRIKER GTX 760 and significantly more expensive than the ASUS GTX760 DirectCU2 card. Those prices lead [H]ard|OCP to set up a showdown to see which card provided the best bang for the buck, especially once they overclocked the AMD card to 1125MHz core and 6GHz RAM. In the end it was a very close race between the cards, the performance crown did go to the R9 285 BE but that performance comes at a premium as you can get performance almost as good for $50 less. Of course the both the XFX card and the STRIKER sell at a premium compared to cards with less features and a stock setup; you should expect the lower priced R9 285s to be closer in performance to the DirectCU2 card.
"Today we are reviewing the new XFX Radeon R9 285 Black Edition video card. We will compare it to a pair of GeForce GTX 760 based GPUs to determine the best at the sub-$250 price point. XFX states that it is faster than the GTX 760, but that is based on a single synthetic benchmark, let's see how it holds up in real world gaming."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- ZOTAC GTX 780 AMP! Edition Graphics Card Review @ TechwareLabs
- ASUS STRIX GeForce GTX 970 4GB @ eTeknix
- GeForce GTX 970 cards from MSI and Asus @ The Tech Report
- ASUS STRIX GTX 980 OC 4 GB @ techPowerUp
- MSI GTX980 Gaming 4G @ Kitguru
- MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G – New Maxwell Price/Performance Beast @ Bjorn3D
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 Offers Great Linux Performance @ Phoronix
Subject: General Tech, Processors, Chipsets | October 23, 2014 - 03:25 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Intel, Broadwell, Broadwell-E, Haswell-E
VR-Zone China got hold of an alleged Intel leak, go figure, that talks about their next enthusiast processor platform, Broadwell-E. This architecture is mostly Haswell-E that has its (rated) feature size shrunk down to 14nm. Given an available BIOS, it is expected to support at least some existing LGA 2011-v3 motherboards with the X99 chipset. Like Haswell, they are sticking with a maximum of 40 PCIe lanes. We will need to wait for individual SKUs to see whether one or more models will be limited to 28 lanes, like the Haswell-E-based Core i7-5820K.
Image Credit: Chinese VR-Zone
Intel claims 140W TDP, which is identical to the current three offerings of Haswell-E, for all options. The slide claims six and eight core models will be available (also identical to Haswell-E).
One bullet-point that baffled me is, "Integrated Memory Controller: 4 Channels DDR4 2400, 1 DIMM per Channel". Double-checking with the other writers here, just to make sure sure, it seems like the slide claims that Broadwell-E will only support four sticks of DDR4. This makes zero sense for a couple of reasons. First, one of the main selling points of the enthusiast platform has been the obscene amount of RAM that workstation users demand. Second, and more importantly, if it is compatible with existing motherboards, what is it going to do? Fail to POST if you install a fifth stick? This has to be a typo or referring to something else entirely.
When will you be able to get it? A bit later than we were hoping. It is expected for Q1 2016, rather than late 2015.
Subject: General Tech | October 23, 2014 - 01:56 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: video, podcast, GTX 980M, msi, X99S GAMING 9 AC, amd, nvidia, Intel, Kingwin, APU, Kaveri, 344.48, dsr
PC Perspective Podcast #323 - 10/23/2014
Join us this week as we discuss GTX 980M Performance, MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC 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: 1:18:59
Subject: Motherboards | October 23, 2014 - 01:19 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asrock, Z97 Extreme6, Broadwell, haswell
For just under $200 the ASRock Z97 Extreme is a good base to build a Broadwell or Haswell platform on for significantly less than a brand new Haswell-E system. The design is quite clean and well spaced out to allow the use of a large cooler along with integral heat sinks improving the looks and thermals of the motherboard. The first two PCIe 3.0 16x slots share 16 lanes between them, the third slot is PCIe 2.0 and is limited to a maximum of two lanes, with two 1x and a mini PCIe slot each getting one lane. Four of the remaining PCIe 3.0 lanes are taken up by the M.2 socket, which gives you up to 32Gbps of transfer speed, not too shabby for a Z97 board. There are a lot of other features, including two separate physical UEFI chips and a very comprehensive software suite to manage the system, which you read about at The Tech Report.
"With Broadwell compatibility and a secondary M.2 socket connected to four PCIe Gen3 lanes in the CPU, ASRock's Z97 Extreme6 might just be the most future-proof Haswell motherboard around. It's surprisingly affordable, too, despite having loads of other extras. Read on for more on a truly unique Z97 contender."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4 LGA 2011-v3 @ [H]ard|OCP
- ASUS X99 Deluxe Review @ OCC
- ASRock X99 OC Formula @ The SSD Review
- ASRock X99 Extreme4 Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- ASUS AM1M-A Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer AM3+ @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: General Tech | October 23, 2014 - 12:34 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: bittorrent sync, cloud, dropbox, onedrive, google drive
BitTorrent is good for more than just downloading files of various natures, it has a tool called Sync which performs a similar task to solutions like Dropbox only more privately and apparently with more speed. From the graph below you can see that in at least one scenario BitTorrent Sync is significantly faster than other solutions when it is allowed free reign on your connection, you can limit the speed in the settings if time is not of the essence. What is also very important to note is that this is purely an encrypted client to client transfer, your files are never cached on a server for posterity or for 'quality assurance' as they are when you use the competitions software. That does mean both devices need to be powered on and on the network for this to work but for many the privacy would be worth the slightly less flexible operation. Check it out on Slashdot.
"Now that its file synchronization tool has received a few updates, BitTorrent is going on the offensive against cloud-based storage services by showing off just how fast BitTorrent Sync can be. More specifically, the company conducted a test that shows Sync destroys Google Drive, Microsoft's OneDrive, and Dropbox. The company transferred a 1.36 GB MP4 video clip between two Apple MacBook Pros using two Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapters, the Time.gov site as a real-time clock, and the Internet connection at its headquarters (1 Gbps up/down)."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft unveils tighter security plans for Windows 10 @ The Inquirer
- Windows Update bricks fake USB chips @ The Inquirer
- iPad Air 2 teardown reveals down-sized battery and glued-down components @ The Inquirer
- Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ... @ The Register
Subject: Processors | October 22, 2014 - 10:02 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: Richland, Q3 results, lisa su, Kaveri, APU, amd, A10 7850K
While AMD made a small profit last quarter, the Q4 outlook from the company is not nearly as rosy. AMD estimates that Q4 revenues will be around 12% lower than Q3, making for a rare drop in what is typically a robust season for sales. Unlike Intel, AMD is seeing a very soft PC market for their products. Intel so far has been able to deliver parts that are as fast, if not faster than the latest APUs, but they also feature lower TDPs while at a comparable price. The one area that AMD has a significant advantage is in terms of 3D performance and better driver support.
To keep the chips selling during this very important quarter, AMD is cutting the prices on their entire lineup of FM2+ parts. This includes the entire Kaveri based lineup from the top end A10-7850K to the A6-7400K. AMD is also cutting the prices on the previous Richland based parts, which include the A10-6800K. Also of interest is that buyers of A10 APUs will be able to select one of three game titles (Murdered: Soul Suspect, Thief, or Sniper Elite 3) for free, or use the included code to purchase Corel’s Aftershot Pro 2 for only $5.
|Compute Cores||12 (4+8)||12 (4+8)||10 (4+6)||10 (4+6)||6 (2+4)|
|TDP (cTDP)||95 (65/45)||65 (45)||95 (65/45)||65 (45)||65 (45)|
The A10-7850K is a pretty good part overall, though of course it does suffer at the hands of Intel when it comes to pure CPU performance. It still is a pretty quick part that competes well with Intel’s 2 core/4 thread chips. 3D performance from the integrated graphics is class leading, and the potential for using that unit for HSA applications is another checkmark for AMD. We have yet to see widespread adoption of HSA, but we are seeing more and more software products coming out that support it. Having tested it out myself, the GPU portion of the APU can be enabled when using a standalone GPU from either AMD or NVIDIA. The Kaveri chips also support TrueAudio, which will show up in more titles throughout the next year.
One aspect of AMD’s latest FM2+ platform that cannot be ignored is the pretty robust selection of good and interesting motherboards that are offered at very low prices. Products such as the Gigabyte G1.Sniper.A88X and the MSI A88X-G45 Gaming motherboards are well rounded products that typically sell in the $90 to $110 range. Top end products like the Asus Crossblade Ranger are still quite affordable at around $160. Budget offerings are still pretty decent and they come in the $50 range.
One other product that has sparked interest is the Athlon X4 860K Black Edition. This product is clocked between 3.7 GHz and 4.0 GHz, features two Steamroller modules, and is priced at a very reasonable $90. The downside is that there is no GPU portion enabled, while the upside is that there is potentially more thermal headroom for the CPU portion to be clocked higher than previous A10-7850K parts. This will of course differ from individual chips, but the potential is there to have a pretty solid CPU for a very low price. Add in the low motherboard prices, and this has the making of a nice budget enthusiast system.
So why the cuts now? We can simply look at last week’s results for AMD’s previous quarter, as well as how the next quarter is stacking up. While AMD made a small profit last quarter, predictions for Q4 look grim. AMD is looking at around a 12% decrease in revenue, as stated above. AMD has a choice in that they can keep ASPs higher, but risk shipping less product in the very important 4th quarter; or they can sacrifice ASPs and potentially ship a lot more product. The end result of cutting the prices on their entire line of APUs will be of course lower ASPs, but a higher volume of parts being shipped and sold. In terms of cash flow, it is likely more important to see parts flowing rather than having higher inventories with a higher ASP. This also means that more APUs being sold will mean more motherboards from their partners moving through the channel.
Intel does have several huge advantages over AMD in that they have a very solid 22 nm process, a huge workforce that can hand tune their processors, and enough marketing money to make any company other than Apple squirm. AMD is at the mercy of the pure-play foundries in terms of process node tweaks and shrinks. AMD spent a long time at 32 nm PD-SOI before it was able to migrated to 28 nm HKMG. It looks to be 2015 before AMD sees anything below 28 nm for their desktop APUs, but it could be sooner for their smaller APUs and ARM based products on planar 20 nm HKMG processes. We don’t know a all of the specifics of the upcoming 16/14nm FinFET products from TSMC, Samsung, and GLOBALFOUNDRIES, so it will be hard to compare/contrast to Intel’s 2nd generation 14 nm TriGate line. All we know is that it will most assuredly be better than the current 28 nm HKMG that AMD is stuck at.
Subject: General Tech | October 22, 2014 - 03:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Mizar, input, gaming mouse, cooler master
The Cooler Master Mizar gaming mouse has a nice understated appearance with a 7 buttons and high end Avago ADNS 9800 sensor capable of 1000 Hz/1ms. That mix of design and technology let Cooler Master retail the mouse at a reasonable price without trimming out the functionality that really matters. It does not ship with a copy of the software, which is a good thing as it will be outdated as soon as it is packaged, but there is a CM utility available for download to program your mouse buttons including macros and profiles. Check out how it performs in game in Benchmark Reviews full article here.
"For some odd reason Cooler Master seems to be releasing products everyday, whether it’s a new case or a new peripheral, their product line has been increasing exponentially in the past few years. What is not odd is the fact that many of Cooler Master products Benchmark Reviews has come across end up highly appraised. Today we are looking at one of two pointing devices Cooler Master has released this month."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- MadCatz R.A.T. TE @ eTeknix
- COUGAR 700M Aluminum Gaming Mouse Review @ Madshrimps
- Func MS-2 Mouse @ HardwareHeaven
- HyperX Skyn Mouse Pad Review @HiTech Legion
- Cougar 700M Mouse and Cougar Speed Mat @ Kitguru
- Aorus Thunder K7 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @HiTech Legion
Subject: General Tech | October 22, 2014 - 01:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, borderlands: the pre-sequel
As you may have noticed, Ryan and the gang from NVIDIA have been playing Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and giving out lots of prizes to viewers. That is certainly enough to make anyone think positively about the newest installment of Gearbox's series, but how is the game its self? Several familiar characters make an appearance, albeit in slightly different roles than either of the previous games nor do gravity or oxygen remain as they were. Does the zany dialogue and cartoony graphics provide as much fun as the other games or has the series already reached its peak? As usual Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN have thoughts on that topic to share with you.
"It’s a little tricky to avoid feeling that a review of The Pre-Sequel (!) is superfluous. Surely everyone in the world has had a taste of Borderlands at this point, and have made their minds up about it? This is very much more of that same formula, with zaniness turned up to… What’s that, Steve? You’ve never played a Borderlands game? Wow."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- To The Moon! Borderlands: Pre-Sequel Preview-Review @ Techgage
- F.E.A.R. Online Is Free-To-Play On Steam @ [H]ard|OCP
- Wot I Think: Legend Of Grimrock 2 @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Civ: Beyond Earth’s Intro Recreates Science Victory @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Lights off, nappies on! It's Alien: Isolation and The Evil Within @ The Register
- In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream - Alien: Isolation Review @ Techgage
- Wot I Think – Styx: Master Of Shadows @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Review @ OCC
- Sleeping Dogs 2-Years Later Review @ OCC
- Civilization: Beyond Earth Linux and Mac release dates confirmed @ HEXUS
- Tunnel Vision: Alien Eyes Sore Jubilation @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Back In Flashblack: Jagged Alliance Again @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 22, 2014 - 12:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: whql, nvidia, GeForce 344.48
"Game Ready" for Lords of the Fallen, Civilization: Beyond Earth, and Elite: Dangerous.
Best gaming experience for Lords of the Fallen, Civilization: Beyond Earth, and Elite:Dangerous.
- Supports Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR) on Kepler and Fermi-based desktop GPUs. Software Modules
- NVIDIA PhysX System Software - version 9.14.0702
- NVIDIA GPU PhysX acceleration is available only on systems with GeForce 8-series and later GPUs with a minimum of 256 MB dedicated graphics memory.
- NVIDIA GPU PhysX acceleration is not available if there is a non-NVIDIA graphics processor in the system, even if it is not used for rendering.
- HD Audio Driver - version 184.108.40.206 CUDA - version 6.5
- GeForce Experience - 220.127.116.11 Application Profiles
Added or updated the following profiles:
- Assassin's Creed Unity – control panel FXAA disabled
- Dead Rising 3 – SLI-Single profile added
- Elite Dangerous – SLI profile added, control panel FXAA disabled
- Escape Dead Island – SLI profile added
- FIFA 15 – SLI-Single profile added
- Lichdom: Battlemage– SLI profile added
- Lords of the Fallen – SLI profile added
- MechWarrior Online – DX11 SLI profile added
- Monster Hunter Online Benchmark – SLI profile added
- Ryse: Son of Rome – SLI profile added, stereo blocked
- Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth – ambient occlusion (AO) profile added
- Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition – SLI profile added
- The Crew – control panel FXAA disabled
- The Vanishing of Ethan Carter – SLI profile added 3D Vision Profiles
Added or updated the following profiles:
- Dead Rising 3 – Not Recommended
- Strife – rated as Fair 3D Compatibility Mode Support
Support for 3D Compatibility Mode has been added for the following games:
- Dead Rising 3 – rated as Excellent
- Strife – rated as Excellent
Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8/Windows 8.1 Fixed Issues
- Make control panel option for MFAA visible in NVIDIA Control Panel only for non-SLI configurations.
- Implement MFAA along with porting TSF filter to driver side shim.
- Add SLI profile for Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition.
- GeForce GTX 980, Windows 8.1: Occasionally, the first line in a displayed frame mistakenly has content from a prior rendered frame.
- Need SLI profile for FIFA 15.
- Having G-SYNC enabled with Oculus Rift drivers installed causes applications to crash while launching and sometimes causes the system to reboot.
- Green screen when certain videos played back in Media Player Classic Home Cinema. Backport to r304_00 all missing changes to the FreeBSD installer.
- Device does not start (error code 49) in certain OEM motherboards.
- Assassin's Creed Unity, Windows 8: TDR crash after loading a level and playing a little on NVIDIA 7-series GPUs.
- Windows 8.1: Significant drop off in performance with 3D Vision enabled in SLI in Tomb Raider, no repro with Windows 7.
Subject: General Tech | October 22, 2014 - 12:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: windows 10, assimilate
Now calling number 9860; you may proceed directly to download or use the automated Update system to receive your newest installment of the Win 10 Tech Preview. Do be warned that your installation size will increase as this download is as large as the original you received to begin your Windows 10 Experience. Those who have never touched a Windows phone previously should not be alarmed by the Action Center which will pop over top of any work you are doing whenever one of your social media feeds receives any sort of update, this is its intended effect and you should embrace it.
You now have the option of joining the Insiders Fast ring of updates, this is highly recommended for those who prefer to enjoy the new features Microsoft will be incorporating without warning and before these wonderful new developments can be sullied by the anti-TIFKAM masses found online. The Register did not report how many Canaries died to bring you this technical preview but any sacrifices would not have been in vain. Please touch here to launch IE to visit their post on mobile and desktop devices.
"Less than three weeks after it debuted the Windows 10 Technical Preview, Microsoft has shipped a comprehensive update to the pre-release OS that brings substantial changes, including some new features borrowed from Windows Phone."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- IBM and Microsoft will collaborate to compete in the cloud @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre @ The Register
- Microsoft warns of PowerPoint zero-day bug affecting nearly all Windows users @ The Inquirer
- Genius DVR-FHD568 Vehicle Recorder @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards | October 21, 2014 - 07:45 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, pcper, nvidia, live, GTX 980, geforce, game stream, borderlands: the pre-sequel, borderlands
UPDATE: It's time for ROUND 2!
UPDATE 2: You missed the fun for the second time? That's unfortunate, but you can relive the fun with the replay right here!
I'm sure like the staff at PC Perspective, many of our readers have been obsessively playing the Borderlands games since the first release in 2009. Borderlands 2 arrived in 2012 and once again took hold of the PC gaming mindset. This week marks the release of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, which as the name suggests, takes place before the events of Borderlands 2. The Pre-Sequel has playable characters that were previously only known to the gamer as NPCs and that, coupled with the new low-gravity game play style, should entice nearly everyone that loves the first-person, loot-driven series to come back.
To celebrate the release, PC Perspective has partnered with NVIDIA to host a couple of live game streams that will feature some multi-player gaming fun as well some prizes to giveaway to the community. I will be joined once again by NVIDIA's Andrew Coonrad and Kris Rey to tackle the campaign in a cooperative style while taking a couple of stops to give away some hardware.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Game Stream Powered by NVIDIA Part 2
5pm PT / 8pm ET - October 21st
Need a reminder? Join our live mailing list!
Here are some of the prizes we have lined up for those of you that join us for the live stream:
- 5 x NVIDIA SLI Bridges - From NVIDIA Direct
- 1 x ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q G-Sync Monitor - PC Perspective Review
- 1 x Acer XB280HK 28-in 4K G-Sync Monitor - PC Perspective Review
- 3 x Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Steam Keys
Holy crap, that's a hell of a list!! How do you win? It's really simple: just tune in and watch the Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Game Stream Powered by NVIDIA! We'll explain the methods to enter live on the air and anyone can enter from anywhere in the world - no issues at all!
So stop by Tuesday night for some fun, some gaming and the chance to win some hardware!
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 21, 2014 - 06:42 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: maxwell, nvidia, gaming, mini ITX, small form factor, GTX 970, GM204, gigabyte
Gigabyte has announced a new miniature graphics card based around NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 970 GPU. The upcoming card is a dual slot, single fan design that is even shorter than the existing GTX 970 graphics cards (which are fairly short themselves). Officially known as the GV-N970IXOC-4GD, the miniaturized GTX 970 will be available for your small form factor (Mini ITX) systems in November for around $330.
The new Mini ITX compatible graphics card packs in a factory overclocked GeForce GTX 970 processor, 4GB of video memory, a custom PCB, and a custom WindForce-inspired cooler into a graphics card that is smaller than any of the existing GTX 970 cards. Gigabyte is using a custom design with a single 8-pin PCI-E power connector instead of two 6-pin connectors from the reference design or the 6-pin plus 8-pin from manufacturers like EVGA. The single power connector means less cabling to route (and
successfully attempt to hide heh) and better small form factor PSU compatibility. The cooler is an aluminum fin array with three copper heatpipes paired with a single shrouded fan.
The tiny card comes factory overclocked at 1076 MHz base and 1216 MHz boost, which is a respectable boost over the reference specifications. For reference, the GeForce GTX 970 processor is a 28nm chip using NVIDIA's GM204 "Maxwell" architecture with 1664 CUDA cores clocked at 1051 MHz base and 1178 MHz boost. It appears that Gigabyte has left the 4GB of GDDR5 untouched at 7.0 GT/s.
|Gigabyte GTX 970 Mini ITX||
Reference GTX 970
|Core (MHz) Boost||1216||1178|
|Memory Rate||7.0 (GT/s)||7.0 (GT/s)|
|PCI-E Power||1x 8-pin||2x 6-pin|
The display output on the miniature Gigabyte card differs slightly from the reference design with the addition of a DVI-D connection.
- 3 x DisplayPort
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x DVI-I
- 1 x DVI-D
According to Gigabyte, its custom cooler resulted in lower temperatures versus the reference design. The company claims that when running Metro: Last Light, the Mini ITX Gigabyte GTX 970 GPU ran at 62°C versus a reference design hitting 76°C running the same game. If true, the Gigabyte cooler is capable of keeping the card significantly cooler while taking up less space (though fan speeds and sound levels were not mentioned, nor compared to other custom coolers).
The small form factor friendly GTX 970 is coming next month with a MSRP of $329.99. Are you excited?
Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 21, 2014 - 04:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Nepton 240M, Nepton 120XL, Nepton, cooler master, all in one
They are not quite available yet but Cooler Master have announced two new all in one watercoolers, the Nepton 120XL and 240M which incorporate a new Silencio fan which as you may expect offers good performance with low noise. If the pricing follows the previous generation of Nepton you can expect to see the 120mm model retail for around $100 and the 240mm for around $120.
Taipei, Taiwan — Oct 21st 2014 — Cooler Master, a leading creator, innovator, and manufacturer of desktop components and peripherals as well as mobile accessories today announced the Nepton 120XL and 240M, the latest additions to the Nepton all-in-one liquid cooling family. See full details on the Nepton 240M product page here.
Keeping It Cool
Nepton 120XL and 240M are introducing a brand new Silencio fan from Cooler Master. This fan is designed with unique fan blades and technology in order to maximize air flow and static pressure with minimal noise output. The result of these fans and Nepton’s skived fin micro-channel technology brings Nepton 120XL and 240M to a whole new level of cool, mirroring the thermal success of the Nepton 140XL and 280L models.
The Cooler Master Nepton series was introduced with the 140XL and 280L models, which sported 140mm and 280mm radiators respectively. The new Nepton 120XL is equipped with a 120mm radiator while the Nepton 240M is equipped with a 240mm radiator. These sizes allow more opportunity for builders and enthusiasts to get their hands on the incredible performance from the Nepton line.
Sealing the Deal
Using Cooler Master’s exclusive design, the pump of the Nepton series pushed 120 Liters of liquid per hour through the flexible and robust FEP tubing to maximize thermal transfer. Topping the pump with a simple geometric design and illuminated Cooler Master logo, the Nepton series continues to turn heads. Backed by a 5-year warranty, Nepton 120XL and 240M will be cooling systems for years to come.
Nepton 120XL and 240M is now shipping to vendors in North America and will be available soon. Price and availability may vary based on region.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 21, 2014 - 02:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: modular psu, HX1000i, Corsair Link, corsair, 80 Plus Platinum
Corsair have updated their high end and high powered PSU line with the HX1000i, developed once again with CWT and sporting an 80 PLUS Platinum rating and Corsair Link integration. The documentation is a little confusing, referring to a single 12v rail rated at 83.3A or 1000W but also mentioning it can be toggled to multiple 12V rails, not to mention the small rounding error in their math. The actual PSU is very well constructed and passed all of the tests that [H]ard|OCP's torture chamber required of it; just not to the same level that the older HX1000 unit managed. That is a little disappointing as you would hope that the quality would improve over time but it is in line with the competition and certainly not a bad showing, merely not what [H] had hoped for. It is still worth your consideration so make sure to read through the whole review to see if the HX1000i meets your needs.
"Corsair's HX series represents its "second tier" line of enthusiast computer power supplies, but its new HX1000i does take the top spot when it comes to its ~1000 watt power supplies that are Platinum certified and fully modular. Let's see if this latest addition from Corsair represents its quality pedigree of days gone by. "
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Fractal Design Newton R3 1000W Semi-Modular PSU @ eTeknix
- FSP Aurum PT Series 1200 W @ techPowerUp
- Deepcool DQ750 Quanta Semi-Modular PSU @ eTeknix
- Be Quiet! Pure Power L8 730W Power Supply Unit Review @ NikKTech
- BitFenix Fury 750G Semi-Modular PSU @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | October 21, 2014 - 01:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hoverboard, hendo
Arx Pax Labs, Inc. have a brilliant marketer and an interesting product in development; one year before the exact date a certain Marty McFly travelled foward to in time they have announced the Hendo hoverboard Kickstarter project. Their current products use a patented tech which they refer to as Magnetic Field Architecture to create a field which allows their devices hover when over a non-ferrous metallic surface. This does have some drawbacks, namely the limited amount of areas in which the device will function, as well as creating difficulties steering but the tech does work and will continue to be developed to provide more functionality. For $10,000 you could get your hands on one of the 10 working prototypes though a more attractive price point and a less limited product supply is at the $300 mark which will get you the Whitebox Dev kit, which is literally a floating white box for you to use and take apart. There are lower priced tiers which will allow you to have a 5 minute ride on one as well.
Engadget tried it out and the current model can solidly support up to 300lbs, the next generation is expected to handle 500lbs. There are far more uses for this technology than the hoverboard though perhaps not quite as fun. Delivery companies could implement hover pallets like you see in many sci-fi programs and conveyor belts might be a thing of the past. It might even be possible to temporarily raise a properly configured building off of the ground during an earthquake with enough of these devices installed in the foundation. Check out their Kickstarter's comment section for more information and links to other sites that have had a chance to try out the hoverboard.
"A KICKSTARTER PROJECT is offering investors the chance to own a hoverboard a bit like the one in Back to the Future 2 for just $10,000."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Doctor Who and the Dalek: 10-year-old tests BBC programming game @ The Register
- Samsung ships its first 20nm 8Gbit DDR4 memory chips for servers @ The Inquirer
- Solid State Tesla Coil Plays Music @ Hack a Day
- Rumor: Lenovo In Talks To Buy BlackBerry @ Slashdot
- Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch @ The Register
- Lenovo to set up secondary brand for mobile devices @ DigiTimes
- Whisper tracks its users. So we tracked down its LA office. This is what happened next @ The Register
- Vivi wins MSI MOA 2014 Grand Final @ Madshrimps
Subject: General Tech | October 20, 2014 - 10:14 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: raptr, pc gaming
Raptr, a PC gaming utility, tracks the time spent within each game and aggregates that data across its user base. Its actual purpose is for game recording, adjusting quality settings for your machine's performance, community engagement, and so forth. Still, it is allowed to collect that data, so it does, and it shows fairly interesting trends of game popularity. Note that these figures represent percentage of total game play, by hour.
Before we get into the numbers, a quick reference about statistics. It may be counter-intuitive, but you can get a pretty accurate result from a relatively small amount of data. Ars Technica's "Steam Gauge" polled 100,000 random Steam accounts, including hidden ones by poking at generated IDs, and came up with fairly accurate sales figures, confirmed by a few indie developers.
Where you can run into difficulties is if your random sample has some non-randomness, outside of your intended bounds. For instance, if you want to see trends involving PC gamers then it is logical to limit your survey to PC gamers, but you can run into systematic error if the study is voluntary, self-reporting, or has some other bias. Sometimes you cannot control these biases for your experiment, so multiple, different experiments may be necessary to dial in on a causation.
In this case, it seems like Raptr's study is an honest representation of the typical Raptr user. Tens of millions of samples is enough to crush random error. The only question that I can think of is whether Raptr users represent a sample space that you care about. If you want to know about the average gamer, including console, casual, and mobile, then maybe not. The average PC gamer? Definitely closer, but it should be compared to other studies in case there is disproportionate representation of some group. Interesting none-the-less? Of course.
So, that aside, the top three PC games of this poll stayed exactly where they are:
- League of Legends
- World of Warcraft
- DOTA 2
World of Warcraft and DOTA 2 held steady, but League of Legends increased its lead by over 14% (relative to second place). 22.54% of all play time that is recorded by Raptr is done in League of Legends. Diablo III jumped up to 5.23% of total due to the launch of a new "season", which encourages players to create new characters and compete for placement and loot. Basically, it attempts to recreate the feeling at launch where enthusiasts attempt to be the first to reach the level cap, and so forth.
The recently launched The Sims 4 found its way to #16. It launched on September 2nd, so it had basically a full month to collect usage time (including the launch surge). Raptr expects that it will slip off the list for October, and that makes sense for me.
Subject: Systems | October 20, 2014 - 05:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: LIVA, silvermont
Yes, you read that right; this system can be powered by a USB power source, as long as it can provide a minimum of 2.1 amps. It runs Windows 8.1 on a Silvermont generation Atom, with 64GB of local storage and 2GB of RAM and it is amazingly small, instead of showing you the exterior you can see the size of the board in comparison to the Atom and the VGA port. It has a UEFI BIOS, certainly pared down in comparison to a high end motherboard but with more than enough options for what this device needs to do. Check out the MadShrimps review here and be ready for another review to appear on our front page.
"The mini PC kit ECS has offered is shipped in a DIY format, and incorporates a dual-core Intel Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage. The footprint of the product allows us to carry it anywhere and it can be even powered by an USB powerbank, if it can deliver at least 2.1 A"
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Giada D2308U Mini-PC Review @ Madshrimps
- PCSpecialist Predator X99 System @ Kitguru
- iconBIT Toucan 4K Android Mini-PC Review @ Madshrimps
- Build your first PC: Step by step video guide with KitGuru TV