All | Editorial | General Tech | Graphics Cards | Networking | Motherboards | Cases and Cooling | Processors | Chipsets | Memory | Displays | Systems | Storage | Mobile | Shows and Expos
Subject: General Tech | December 21, 2015 - 12:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: censorship, error 451
After several years of debate, we will now have a new HTTP error specifically for sites that have been taken down due to court orders and other legal actions. Error 451, of which you can see an example of here, will contain information on where the page is blocked, the law against which it transgressed and a link to the court case and other pertinent information such as when the court order expires. 451 Unavailable will keep a record of the sites which are blocked if you are curious about what sites are being blocked around the world.
"The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) has finally approved the new 451 status code for HTTP error messages involving web pages which have been repressed or removed for legal or political reasons. The initiative was proposed in 2013, and gained interest from various groups, such as Lumen (formerly Chilling Effects), who see the potential of the Bradbury-inspired code to help develop comprehensive indexes of censorship on the internet."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Windows 10 won't come to old WinPhones until some time in early 2016 @ The Register
- Juniper 'fesses up to TWO attacks from 'unauthorised code' @ The Register
- Facebook ditches Flash video in favour of HTML5 @ The Inquirer
- Firefox-on-Windows users, rejoice: Game of Thrones now in HTML5 @ The Register
- Getting Started with Docker @ Linux.com
- Pandora pleased with 15% rate hike for streaming music @ The Register
- TRENDnet TEW-824DRU AC1750 Dual Band Wireless Router Review @ NikKTech
Subject: Graphics Cards | December 21, 2015 - 07:25 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: vulkan, Mantle, Khronos, dx12, DirectX 12
The Khronos Group announced on Friday that the Vulkan API will not ship until next year. The standards body was expecting to launch it at some point in 2015. In fact, when I was first briefed on it, they specifically said that 2015 was an “under-promise and over-deliver” estimate. Vulkan is an open graphics and compute standard that was derived from AMD's Mantle. It, like OpenCL 2.1, uses the SPIR-V language for compute and shading though, which can be compiled from subsets of a variety of languages.
I know that most people will be quick to blame The Khronos Group for this, because industry bodies moving slowly is a stereotype, but I don't think it applies. When AMD created Mantle, it bore some significant delays at all levels. Its drivers and software were held back, and the public release of its SDK was delayed out of existence. Again, it would be easy to blame AMD for this, but hold on. We now get to Microsoft. DirectX 12, which is maybe even closer to Mantle than Vulkan is due to its shading language, didn't roll out as aggressively as Microsoft expected, either. Software is still pretty much non-existent when they claimed, at GDC 2014, that about 50% of PC games would be DX12-compatible by Holiday 2015. We currently have... ... zero (excluding pre-release).
Say what you like about the three examples individually, but when all three show problems, then there might just be a few issues that took longer than expected to solve. Again, this is a completely different metaphor of translating voltages coming through a PCI Express bus into fancy graphics and GPU compute, and create all of the supporting ecosystems, too.
Speaking of ecosystems, The Khronos Group has also announced that Google has upgraded their membership to “Promoter” to get more involved with Vulkan development. Google has been sort-of hostile towards certain standards from The Khronos Group on Android in the past, such as disabling OpenCL on Nexus devices, and trying to steer developers into using Android Extension Pack and Renderscript. They seem to want to use Vulkan proper this time, which is always healthy for the API.
I guess look forward to Vulkan in 2016... hopefully early.
Subject: Motherboards | December 19, 2015 - 11:09 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: motherboard, Intel Xeon E3-1200, Intel C232, E3 Pro Gaming V5, ATX motherboard, asus
ASUS has introduced a new ATX gaming motherboard for Intel's 6th-generation Xeon E3-1200 server processors, offering premium desktop gaming features on a board built with Intel's C232 chipset.
The board is built with Intel's C232 chipset, needed to support the Xeon E3-1200 processors (not compatible with desktop chipsets). Intel's C232 product page lists a maximum of only 8 PCI Express lanes, so (as pointed out in the comments) the E3-1200 and desktop Skylake processors will provide 16 lanes to the first PCIe slot, with the C232 providing up to 8 more for the other slots. (Intel's C236 chipset, the other chipset supporting these new Skylake Xeon CPUs, supports 20 PCIe lanes.)
The E3 Pro Gaming V5 supports not only E3-1200 series Xeon processors, but 6th-generation Intel Core and Pentium/Celeron CPUs as well with its LGA1151 socket. Why exactly would a server CPU be an attractive option for a gaming rig anyway? For one thing the 4 core/8 thread Skylake desktop CPU (the i7-6700K) is difficult to find and currently $419.99 on Newegg (and out of stock). A Skylake Xeon E3-1230 v5 on the other hand (all models above E3-1220/1225 are 4 core/8 thread) starts at $274.99 (Newegg).
Here are some of the specifications from ASUS:
- CPU: Intel Socket 1151 for Xeon E3-1200 v5 and 6th genereation Core, Pentium and Celeron Processors
- Chipset: Intel C232
- Memory: 4x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory, Dual-Channel Memory Architecture
- Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
- Expansion Slots:
- 1x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 mode)
- 1x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode)
- 2x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x1
- 2x PCI
- Multi-GPU Support: Supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX Technology, AMD 2-Way CrossFireX Technology
- Storage: (Intel C232 chipset) 1x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key design, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (Supports both SATA & PCIE SSD), 6x SATA 6Gb/s ports, support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
- Intel Rapid Storage Technology Enterprise support
- LAN: Intel I219LM, 1x Gigabit LAN Controller, GameFirst technology, Anti-surge LANGuard
- Audio: SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio
- USB Ports:
- (ASMedia USB 3.1 controller) 1x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1x USB 3.1 Type-C
- (Intel C232 chipset) 6x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
- Form Factor: ATX (12 inch x 9.6 inch)
Availability for the U.S.A. was not specified, but according to the press release (accessed via Vortez here) it will be offered in the UK with an MSRP of £118.10, or approximately $175 US.
Subject: General Tech | December 18, 2015 - 04:26 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: valve, htc, vive, vive vr
A grain of salt is needed for this one. Users on Reddit claim to have found a pair of renders, one of the headset and one of the controllers, for the HTC Vive VR system. They also have a screenshot of the page, although the first words you see are “This Is Real,” which are the most sketchy, ironic, and unfortunate words to be greeted with in a product leak.
The current HTC Vive prototype looks like a rough version of this. There are some significant differences, though. My major concern is at the front of the headset. You can clearly see a front-facing camera as well as two nubs below it, one to the bottom-left, and one to the bottom-right. If those two nubs are also cameras, then that makes a bit more sense.
If those two nubs are not cameras, then Valve would have downgraded from a two-camera system, in the original prototype, to a single camera. Valve has already claimed that the Vive will have front-facing cameras, plural, to track objects (like pets) for safety reasons. I can see them adding an extra camera, but I doubt that they would use just a single one. Two cameras allow more accurate depth tracking at low distances, which is when you risk... interacting... with the user. That sounds unlikely.
If it's three cameras? That makes sense.
Kyle Orland of Ars Technica is using the original prototype during GDC 2015.
Image Credit: Ars Technica
The controllers are also interesting, but mostly from an aesthetic standpoint. The hexagonal plates, which apparently functioned as sensors, seem to have been changed into circular rings (if the hole goes all the way through). They retain their thumb trackpads, triggers, and a couple of buttons. It's unclear whether each controller is identical, or if there's a difference between the intended-left and intended-right models. Being a lefty, I hope not.
At roughly the same time, Cher Wang, the CEO of HTC, announced that the HTC Vive will be unveiled at CES (in January). It won't be available until around April, but we should know basically all there is to know about the system at next month's trade show. Given this timing, and that multiple users have been posting the leak seemingly independently, it sounds valid. The camera configuration, on the other hand, takes a bit away from that.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 18, 2015 - 03:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: xfx, XTR 850W, modular psu, 80 Plus Gold
XFX has a lot of branding on the new XTR series of PSUs including EasyRail, which means it uses a single 12V rail, on this model providing up to 840W @ 70A as well as a "True Wattage" guarantee and 80 Plus Gold. [H]ard|OCP put these claims to the test when they reviewed this PSU and did not find it lacking. There were a few tests which the PSU did not excel at but when they tested voltage regulation this PSU finished miles ahead of the competition. [H] also mentions that this unit was previously sold as the Pro Series Gold, the internals of the two are identical as is the serial number so keep an eye out when shopping so you can see if you can get a deal. Also worth noting is the 5 year warranty, it is always nice to see a company stand behind its products.
"XFX is targeting serious gamers and hardware enthusiasts with its new XTR Series of PSU. XFX suggest other power supplies do not always deliver, "The Wattage you see isn’t always the wattage you get." We will certainly find out if that is true with the XTR 850W PSU delivers the power and efficiency it promises in its marketing."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- FSP Hydro G 750W @ [H]ard|OCP
- Antec EarthWatts Platinum 750W @ [H]ard|OCP
- FSP Hydro G 750W @ Kitguru
- Cooler Master V Series 550 W @ techPowerUp
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 18, 2015 - 01:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: azza, zen 8100
AZZA opted to skip the flashy exterior so common on cases today in the Zen 8100. The case is 21.6x8.7x22.6" which allows you to fit in even E-ATX boards and gives you plenty of space for installing large coolers and GPUs. The storage area has a separate door, an interesting addition, with space for four 5.25" drives as well as up to eight 3.5/2.5" drives not counting two more on the back. Two of those bays are hot-swapable, if for some reason you desire to use the feature. Overclockers Club would have liked to see this case support 240mm radiators but the configuration will not make that an option. Apart from that one missing feature they give this case a top rating, it is worth looking at if you need a larger sized case in the near future.
"Onwards! Alright, it's not often I don't have much on the negative side to say. AZZA has a few minor flaws for an overall decent chassis, one of which is the fans. Having fans with a fixed speed is great for some quiet operations, but it doesn't help with a loaded case, as only so much unwanted hot air can be pushed out. An easy fix for AZZA would be to have them as 3-pin fans instead of being powered by 4-pin Molex cable."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Corsair Carbide Quiet 600Q @ eTeknix
- Corsair Carbide Clear 600C @ Benchmark Reviews
- Corsair Carbide 600C Inverted Case Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Aerocool Aero 800 @ Kitguru
- NZXT H440 New Edition @ Kitguru
- ID-Cooling Frostflow 240L AIO Water Cooler @ eTeknix
- NZXT Hue+ LED Lighting Controller Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Be Quiet! Shadow Rock LP CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- Reeven Ouranos @ techPowerUp
Subject: Mobile | December 18, 2015 - 07:06 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: snapdragon, qualcomm
The mobile processors that were previously known as the Snapdragon 618 and the Snapdragon 620 are now known as Snapdragon 650 and Snapdragon 652, respectively. This is not how we typically see products rebranded. Normally, such as the desktop GPU market, individual products are carried between generations, and their model number is incremented to reflect that. This case is the exact opposite: Qualcomm feels that the new products are numbered too similar to existing models, so they're widening the gap between them.
An SoC is only useful if it is installed in a compelling device, though. While I would hope that these sorts of branding changes influence consumers more than device manufacturers, there exists a part of me that wonders how much this rebranding will affect their amount of design wins. You would think that bumping a model number up a few digits wouldn't affect experimentation at Samsung, LG, or other phone companies. Yet, it might, and that would be interesting to see. Either way, it should affect the semi-enthusiast phone users who buy based on breakdowns of tech specs.
Subject: Systems | December 17, 2015 - 11:36 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: mini-pc, LIVA, intel core, ECS, CES 2016
ECS will announce a new LIVA mini PC at CES 2016, which they are describing as a "one-liter book-size Core i mini PC".
"ECS is proud to introduce its brand new LIVA mini-PC - One at CES 2016. It features a flexible hardware configuration in a book-size, one-liter form factor. In addition, LIVA mini PC with Windows 10 will have a remote control application natively built-in; providing full wireless usage with your own mobile devices."
No images were provided, but the prospect of an Intel Core processor alone makes it a much more attractive proposition than prior versions which use underpowered Atom processors.
The first three generations of LIVA from our look at the LIVA X2.
PC Perspective will be covering CES as new products are officially unveiled, and we will have more on this new hardware from the show.
Subject: Graphics Cards | December 17, 2015 - 05:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: radeon, crimson, amd
That's right folks, the official AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 15.12 has just launched for you to install. This includes the fixes for fan speeds when you are using AMD Overdrive, your settings will stick and the fans will revert to normal after you go back to the desktop from an intense gaming session. There are multiple fixes for Star Wars Battlefront, Fallout 4 and several GUI fixes within the software itself. As always there are still a few kinks being worked out but overall it is worth popping over to AMD to grab the new driver. You should also have less issues upgrading from within Crimson after this update as well.
Subject: General Tech | December 17, 2015 - 02:35 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: video, Thrustmaster, T300, snapdragon 820, Skylake, qualcomm, podcast, logitech g, Intel, i3-6100, gpuopen, gameworks, arx control, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #379 - 12/17/2015
Join us this week as we discuss the Snapdragon 820, AMD's GPUOpen, Thrustmaster T300 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: Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano, and Sebastian Peak
Program length: 1:13:34
Week in Review:
News item of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Sebastian: If only you could buy this case.
Subject: Displays, Shows and Expos | December 17, 2015 - 02:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: benq, VZ2470H, freesync, XR3501, XL2730Z, 144hz, CES 2016
BENQ sent out a teaser of three of the displays they will be demonstrating at CES 2016, the VZ2470H with a slim bezel and impressive contrast ratio, the huge, curved XR3501 and the XL2730Z with VESA Standard Adaptive-Sync, the technology once known as FreeSync.
The VZ2470H is a VA panel, with an impressive 3000:1 native contrast ratio, 4ms GTG response time and what BenQ refers to as ZeroFlicker which they claim will reduce eyestrain from LED backlight flickering. The picture shows this 23.8" 1920 x 1080 display will have a very thin bezel, we can hope that it is not an exaggeration as it would make this a good choice for multiple monitor setups in an office or even for a lower cost gaming system.
The BenQ XR3501 will be of far more interest to gamers, this 35" 2560 x 1080 monitor is curved to give you a great view. It also runs at a 144Hz refresh rate with a 4ms GTG response time. BenQ does not specifiy the panel type but it is likely to be VA as well.
Last but not least is the BenQ XL2730Z, a 27" 2560x1440 display that is fully VESA Standard Adaptive-Sync compliant, with a top refresh rate of 144Hz. It also has a 1ms GTG and is advertised as having no input lag, as you might expect this also means it is a TN panel, but remember, this is not the TN of a few years ago.
The monitor also has some other interesting tricks up its bezel, Display Mode and Smart Scaling allow you to virtually scale the monitor in a variety of sizes, 17", 19", 19"W, 21.5", 22"W, 23"W, 23.6"W and 24"W are defaults but you can create your own as well. The Auto Game Mode feature lets you save monitor settings specific to a game profile and even to export them to a USB drive to take with you if you so desire. All of those functions and more are controlled by the small device you can see on the stand above.
2016 is shaping up to be a very interesting year for displays.
They will also being showing off three different projectors, the HT4050, HT3050 and the budget-friendly HT2050, a portable electrostatic Bluetooth speaker called the treVolo and even even a fancy desk lamp.
Subject: General Tech | December 17, 2015 - 12:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: N3XT, nanotubes, TSV
The achillies heel of processing density is heat and how to radiate it away from the parts doing the work, which is why processors and memory tend to be very flat. This has change, we have begun to see 3D VNAND become common on the marketplace thanks to reduced heat generation and a variety of arcane tricks some of which Al explained last year. Processors offer a more significant challenge, the TDP is much larger than that of flash and hotspots are more common and have a much more drastic effect on performance. They can also be more difficult to fabricate; there is quite a trick to baking the interior of the chip without overcooking the external layers
Stanford University is working on what they call Nano-Engineered Computing Systems Technology, or N3XT which is working on Through Silicon Vias for processors. If successful this would allow a similar structure to current 3D VNAND on a processor which would vastly increase processing density. The lower temperatures required to fab carbon nanotube transistors may just be what the industry has needed. Make sure your brain is turned on and read on at The Inquirer.
"One way in which Stanford University is exploring this is by using carbon nanotube technology in high-rise chip architecture processes. Working alongside other universities, Stanford engineers have created this new technology, which it calls Nano-Engineered Computing Systems Technology, or N3XT."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel talks concurrency and Knights Landing @ The Register
- Acer to find 3 partners for smart home industry and will cooperate with Asustek for cloud @ DigiTimes
- Samsung reportedly bags Snapdragon 820 exclusivity until April @ The Inquirer
- Canadian live route map highlights vulnerabilities to NSA spying efforts @ The Register
- Heathkit’s Triumphant Return? @ Hack a Day
- Must-Have Mac OS X Apps – 2015 Edition @ Tech ARP
- D-Link DIR-880L Wireless AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit Cloud Router Review @ NikKTech
Subject: Mobile | December 16, 2015 - 06:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: yoga 900, yoga, Skylake, Lenovo, Intel
You may remember that back in November Ryan took a look at the Lenovo Yoga 900 with its snazzy watchband hinge and 3200x1800 resolution. If not then now is the perfect time to revisit that video review but if you do still remember perhaps you would like a second opinion on the Skylake powered 2-in-1 device. At 324x225x14.9mm and weighing 1.3kg in the complete package it is very portable, though you could just pop the 13.3" IPS display around the keyboard for use as a tablet. The Inquirer takes a look at the good, the bad and the ugly attributes of the Yoga 900 in their review.
"This latest addition to the Yoga line is perhaps its fanciest yet, with a faux-leather finish and a complex ‘watchband' hinge. The real good news, though, is that this Skylake-powered convertible is as speedy and practical as it is eye-catching."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Sony Xperia Z5 Premium @ The Inquirer
- Lumia 950 & 950 XL – The Phone That Works Like Your PC @ Tech ARP
- Evolution Of Google Nexus : Huawei’s Transcendence @ Tech ARP
- Xtorm AL420 Waterproof Power Bank Xtreme 9000mAh Review @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | December 16, 2015 - 06:20 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10
A new build is available for Windows 10 at the Insider Fast update level. This one is numbered 11082, and it is the first one on the “Redstone” track. Users will probably not notice any changes, beyond the bugs, because the modifications are all under-the-hood. They are working on the core of the operating system, called “OneCore,” to restructure it better for the wide variety of hardware that it's designed for.
This raises the question: Why now? It's odd that they would release a public preview that seemingly adds nothing, just before the holidays when the engineers will be unavailable to fix it. That feels like replacing the first floor of a building from wood to maybe-not-quite-set concrete, then hopping on a plane for a few weeks. Of course, this is not a bad thing. This is what some Insiders want to experience, and those who don't can drop down to Slow (or leave Insider).
Also, Microsoft sort-of explained why they did this. First, they intend to get down to business on features and upgrades in January. Basically, they structured their work such that pre-Holiday tasks built the infrastructure for post-Holiday creations (as I mentioned in the first paragraph). Big development tasks are often done on branches of a canonical product that are merged when complete. Merging a branch back into the trunk is easier when the trunk is designed more modularly, etc. In that context, it makes sense to see how it reacts in a large sample of configurations just before you start pushing big feature payloads into it. The second explanation is that Microsoft intends to speed up Insider previews in general.
If you're interested, WinBeta has a video “walking through” the features, although they basically just read the announcement. They also checked to see whether Microsoft Edge changed to add extensions, and it didn't.
A list of known issues is also available in the Insider Hub app post. Basically, Language packs and "Features on Demand" will not install. File progress dialogues will not show (even though the actual copy / move / delete will work without issue). Finally, some default apps will be incorrectly reset.
It is available through Windows Update for Fast Insiders.
Subject: General Tech | December 16, 2015 - 12:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, Oculus, crytek, the climb
Crytek announced their designed for Oculus game yesterday, The Climb. As you might infer from the title of the game you will be scaling cliffs and mountains using either an Xbox One controller or Oculus Touch with your Oculus to experience something that would not be anywhere near as interesting on a computer monitor. The disembodied hands are a little disturbing, though perhaps not as much as the heights will be for those who suffer from vertigo, though perhaps this would be an interesting way to try to conquer your fears. The video below shows off the graphics, though not as immersive as it would be in VR it still looks rather interesting. Many developers are looking to space sims to be the killer app for Oculus, for instance EVE Valkyrie come as part of the pre-order bundle shipped with the first consumer model.
Crytek might have just found the other style of game to interest people in the Oculus, extreme sports could be very compelling with the new VR headset.
"The Climb invites thrill-seekers to experience the ultimate in extreme sports by going beyond the point of no return and scaling deadly cliff faces unaided. The game boasts hyper-realistic climbing locations from around the world, and players will discover the freedom of gaming with the Rift using either an Xbox One controller or Oculus Touch controllers as they soak up their awe-inspiring surroundings."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- System Shock 3 Formally Announced Oh Gosh It Is Real @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Mix-And-Match Murder In Fallout 4 Weapon Mods Mod @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Enchanting puzzle platformer Unravel available from 9th Feb @ HEXUS
- Let’s Spin Again: Tribes Ascend V1.1 Released @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- DICE director confirms 'the next Battlefield' is in development @ HEXUS
- RPS Feature Hidden and dangerous XCOM 2’s Concealment Mechanic Changes Everything @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- NVIDIA vs. AMD Linux Performance For GRID Autosport @ Phoronix
You should upgrade to Win10 now ... or now ... or how about now ... maybe now ... now might be a good time ...
Subject: General Tech | December 16, 2015 - 12:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: windows 10
You could do it now ... or tonight ... or maybe we will just do it for you while you are away because we are such nice people and we know you are really concerned about running the latest OS and security patches.
Yes that's right folks, if you have yet to take advantage of Microsoft's generosity they will soon be making you an offer that is impossible to refuse ... almost. The nag screens have been updated to offer two obvious choices, Upgrade Now or Upgrade Tonight, with that little red x in the corner being the only way to turn down the offer. By now you have probably had relatives reach out to you about this latest virus, or your friends explain how this proves Microsoft is out to eat your brainwaves or some such thing.
What it does mean is that the average user is going to be rather miffed but will likely upgrade if they are not privy to the secret of the red x. Those who don't use their computers often, or who will be away for the holidays will come home to a shiny new OS in the very near future as Windows 10 has reached Recommended Update status and will install itself on all Win7/8x systems not configured to defer updates. The smell of desperation is in the air, the knowledgeable have already chosen to upgrade or to disable the nag screens while the unaware are about to encounter a surprise and we all know how well unexpected surprises are received lately.
Why Microsoft is so desperate to push this free upgrade out, even to with the risk of alienating their largest user base, barring corporations who they had to exempt, is somewhat of a mystery. Then again, it is better than snatching the upgrade away before the originally announced year and billing full price on the next upgrade cycle. Perhaps they are looking at Amazon's success with subscription based cloud services with a bit of jealousy?
"We spoke to Microsoft about our concerns last month and were told that "the average user ... wants to make sure they've got the most secure and always up-to-date version of Windows, and the feedback we get is that people want that to be as simple and seamless as possible""
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Samsung turned our SSD Endurance Experiment into something incredible @ The Tech Report
- Firefox 64-bit for Windows Available @ [H]ard|OCP
- Amazon tells people who bought hoverboards to get rid of them @ The Inquirer
- Ho ho hosed: Asian biz malware pwns air-gaps, thousands of Androids @ The Register
- Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon @ Linux.com
Subject: Graphics Cards | December 16, 2015 - 08:12 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, geforce experience, geforce
A new version of GeForce Experience was published yesterday. It is classified as a beta, which I'm guessing means that they wanted to release it before the Holidays, but they didn't want to have to fix potential, post-launch issues during the break. Thus, release it as a beta so users will just roll back if something doesn't work. On the other hand, NVIDIA is suggesting that it will be a recurring theme with their new "Early Access" program.
It has a few interesting features, though. First, it has a screenshot function that connects with Imgur. Steam's F12 function is pretty good for almost any title, but there are some times that you don't want to register the game with Steam, so a second option is welcome. They also have an overlay to control your stream, rather than just an indicator icon.
They added the ability to choose the Twitch Ingest Server, which is the server that the broadcaster connects to and delivers your stream into Twitch's back-end. I haven't used ShadowPlay for a while, but you previously needed to use whatever GeForce Experience chose. If it's not the best connection (ex: across the continent) then you basically had to deal with it. OBS and OBS Studio have these features too of course. I'll be clear: NVIDIA is playing catch-up to open source software in that area.
The last feature to be mentioned might just be the most interesting, though. A while ago, we mentioned that NVIDIA wants to allow online co-op by a GameStream-like service. They now have it, and it's called GameStream Co-op. The viewer can watch, take over your input, or register as a second gamepad. It requires a GeForce GTX 650 (or 660M) or higher.
Subject: General Tech | December 16, 2015 - 07:20 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: xbox one, Windows 8.1, windows 8, Windows 7, windows 10, microsoft
Last week, Microsoft announced that the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows now supports Windows 7 and 8.x. Previously, the dongle would only work on Windows 10, which meant that other operating systems required Xbox One controllers to be wired.
This does not mean that all functionality will be available on Windows 7 and 8.x, though. The Xbox Accessories app is required to manage profiles and update firmware without an Xbox One console. As far as I can tell, that will continue to be the case. If you have an Xbox One console, and don't mind managing the controllers there, then this wireless adapter might be for you. If you have don't have an Xbox One console, Windows 10, or an existing Xbox One controller, then you may want to reconsider getting an Xbox One controller at all. If you do, then you can turn it wireless, now even on Windows 7 and 8.x.
The Xbox One Wireless Adapter for Windows has been out for a couple of months.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 16, 2015 - 07:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: MSI Die Guard, MSI CPU Guard, msi
Personally, I am running a Haswell CPU (“Devil's Canyon”). I don't have any experience with building Skylake-based systems. A few of my coworkers at PC Perspective do, though. They seem to think that the issue is a bit out-of-proportion, except maybe in situations where a PC with a large CPU cooler needs to be transported. Also, Morry has used a similar product, the MSI Die Guard, with his delidding project for QuakeCon 2014, and it failed to prevent his die from cracking. Granted, protecting a bare die is much different from bracing a CPU that still has its heatspreader.
Image Credit: MSI
Those two issues should be kept in mind, though. We're skeptical of the problem in general and, even then, the one time that we used a similar product, it didn't (entirely) do what it was supposed to. Again, none of these situations involved me, personally.
Image Credit: MSI
But now onto the announcement. MSI is releasing the CPU Guard 1151 for new Skylake-based processors. It also works as a “die guard” too, so if you intend on popping the headspreader off, you don't need to choose between two parts. This supposedly works in either scenario. It clamps the processor into the socket, although I can't see how it would do much more than an 1151 socket (and its clamp) itself. MSI did use it during an overclocking competition though, on a delidded Skylake, so there's that.
No pricing or availability are yet available. It could be something to look out for, especially if you haven't installed your processor yet. If you have, you would then need to think about the effort to undo whatever you already have to install this. It's up to you.
Subject: General Tech | December 15, 2015 - 03:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, v-moda, crossfade wireless, wireless headset
Considering the way that Beats and other headsets seem to sell based on the recognizable and rather colourful look of their headsets side panels, V-MODA has created product to try to compete on that level. When you order your headset you can choose between a wide variety of 3D printed side panels in a variety of materials and designs up to and including solid platinum for a mere $27,000 or so. For the less financially gifted there are other precious metals, fibre, aluminium and steel side panels to place your design on. V-MODA offers a variety of designs that can be etched on the sides or you can even upload your own design, though as you do authorize V-MODA to use the design make sure it is yours to use.
The remaining question is how the headsets sound, both while wired and over Bluetooth. They are based off of the Crossfade M-100s which may be familiar to you, otherwise you can read what Techgage thought of the sound in their full review.
"Are you in the market for some high-end wireless headphones but crave something a little different? V-MODA may have something of interest. With a range of 3D printed customizable headphones available in a variety of materials, including metal, the Crossfade Wireless certainly has our ears perked."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- A Look At Patriot’s Viper V360 Headset And V560 Gaming Mouse @ Techgage
- AKG K182 Studio Headphones Review @ Hardware Canucks
- OZONE Blast Ocelote World 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound Headset Review @ NikKTech
- Asus STRIX 2.0 Headset @ Kitguru