Far Cry Primal System Requirements Slightly Lower than 4?

Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | January 9, 2016 - 07:00 AM |
Tagged: ubisoft, quad-core, pc gaming, far cry primal, dual-core

If you remember back when Far Cry 4 launched, it required a quad-core processor. It would block your attempts to launch the game unless it detected four CPU threads, either native quad-core or dual-core with two SMT threads per core. This has naturally been hacked around by the PC gaming community, but it is not supported by Ubisoft. It's also, apparently, a bad experience.

ubisoft-2015-farcryprimal.jpg

The follow-up, Far Cry Primal, will be released in late February. Oddly enough, it has similar, but maybe slightly lower, system requirements. I'll list them, and highlight the differences.

Minimum:

  • 64-bit Windows 7, 8.1, or 10 (basically unchanged from 4)
  • Intel Core i3-550 (down from i5-750)
    • or AMD Phenom II X4 955 (unchanged from 4)
  • 4GB RAM (unchanged from 4)
  • 1GB NVIDIA GTX 460 (unchanged from 4)
    • or 1GB AMD Radeon HD 5770 (down from HD 5850)
  • 20GB HDD Space (down from 30GB)

Recommended:

  • Intel Core i7-2600K (up from i5-2400S)
    • or AMD FX-8350 (unchanged from 4)
  • 8GB of RAM (unchanged from 4)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 (up from GTX 680)
    • or AMD Radeon R9 280X (down from R9 290X)

While the CPU is interesting, the opposing directions of the recommended GPU is fascinating. Either the parts are within Ubisoft's QA margin of error, or they increased the GPU load, but were able to optimize AMD better than Far Cry 4, which was a net gain in performance (and explains the slight bump in CPU power required to feed the extra content). Of course, either way is just a guess.

Back on the CPU topic though, I would be interested to see the performance of Pentium Anniversary Edition parts. I wonder whether they removed the two-thread lock, and, especially if hacks are still required, whether it is playable anyway.

That is, in a month and a half.

Source: Ubisoft

CES 2016: Dell UltraSharp U3017Q 4K OLED Pro Display

Subject: Displays, Shows and Expos | January 9, 2016 - 02:59 AM |
Tagged: CES, CES 2016, dell, ultrasharp, oled

For the longest time, display technology was stagnant. Professional monitors were 1440p, IPS panels (or 2560x1600 for 16:10 models) and high-90% Adobe RGB color, which is useful for both video and print gamuts. Consumer monitors were based on TN technology that could maybe cover the smaller sRGB color space, which covers video. Mobile devices, due to their small size, relatively high viewing angle requirements, and eventually high PPI, started introducing higher-end technologies to consumers. G-Sync, and later FreeSync, continued to differentiate high-end panels. Still, apart from the shift to 4K 60Hz, professional panels didn't go through an astonishing upgrade.

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Image Credit: Engadget

OLED was always on the horizon though, and are now being integrated into consumer, and professional, monitors. The Dell UltraSharp U3017Q is one such display, with a 30-inch size and 4K resolution. It completely covers Adobe RGB and 97.8% of DCI-P3. DCI-P3 is not a superset of Adobe RGB, it's just a bit more shifted into the reds, and it is designed for digital cinema projects. Because it's not blocking white light, it can get deeper blacks and more saturated colors.

For accessories, it has a USB Type-C connector that can provide 100W of power, as well as high-speed data and apparently video.

Its pricing and availability is where we get to its downside. It will ship March 31st, which is great news for the new technology, but it will cost $4,999, which is not so amazing. That said, if companies get their hands on it, it might eventually trickle into the prosumer and consumer space, like the 4K IGZO panels did a couple of years ago.

What do our readers think?

Did it launch too early? Or does this make you interested when the price drops? Or, alternatively, are you planning on dropping a huge chunk of cash as soon as they'll take it?

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Engadget

CES 2016: Zotac Refreshes ZBOX Pico with Intel Cherry Trail

Subject: Systems | January 9, 2016 - 12:12 AM |
Tagged: zotac, zbox pico, zbox, Cherry Trail, CES 2016, CES

Zotac had a pair of new ZBOX pico systems on display in their suite at CES, with refreshed models featuring updated Intel Cherry Trail processors; up from the previous Bay Trail SoCs.

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The two new models have slightly different specs, with a x7-Z8700 SoC (quad-core up to 2.40 GHz) powering the first one pictured (Cherry Trail T4), and a x5-8300 (quad-core up to 1.84 GHz) powering the second (Cherry Trail T3).

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Common specifications include:

  • 2 GB LPDDR3
  • 32 GB eMMC
  • Intel HD graphics
  • 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.0
  • MicroSD slot
  • HDMI output
  • Windows 10 Home pre-installed

The Cherry Trail T3 version offers only 10/100 Ethernet and USB 2.0, while the Cherry Trail T4 version provides Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 Type-C.

Pricing/availability are not yet known.

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Zotac

CES 2016: Zotac ZBOX E1751 SFF PC with Intel Core i7, Iris Pro

Subject: Systems | January 8, 2016 - 11:46 PM |
Tagged: zotac, ZBOX E1751, zbox, SFF, iris pro, i7-5775R, CES 2016, CES, Broadwell

Zotac has a new enthusiast ZBOX in the E series, the E1751; a small form-factor PC with an Intel Core i7 (Broadwell) processor and Iris Pro graphics.

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The Intel Core i7-5775R processor is a 65 W 4 core/8 thread part that operates from 3.3 - 3.8 GHz. There are two DDR3L SoDIMM slots supporting 1600/1866 MHz memory (the CPU supports up to 32 GB of RAM), and storage options are limited to SATA/mSATA drives (no M.2 support for the latest NVMe storage).

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Specifications:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-5775R, quad-core up to 3.8 GHz
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200
  • Memory: 2x DDR3L 1600/1866 SoDIMM slots
  • Storage: 2.5-inch SATA 6.0 Gbps HDD/SSD bay, mSATA 6.0 Gbps slot
  • Networking: Dual Gigabit LAN, 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Display output: 2x DisplayPort, DVI-D (single-link)
  • USB: 3x USB 3.0 ports (1x front, 2x rear)
  • Audio: 3.5 mm input/output; digital optical audio output
  • Card reader: SD/SDHC/SDXC

In addition to the kit specified above, the “PLUS” models will include 8 GB of memory and a 128 GB SSD.

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Pricing and release date were not yet available.

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Zotac

CES 2016: Zotac Fanless C Series Mini-PC with Skylake i5

Subject: Systems | January 8, 2016 - 10:39 PM |
Tagged: zotac, Skylake, SFF, passive cooling, mini PC, Intel Core i5, fanless, CES 2016, CES

While there were both passive and actively-cooled systems on display in Zotac's suite at CES, one of the most interesting was a new fanless computer in a larger form-factor than previous C-series mini-PCs - and it's powered by an 6th-gen Intel Core i5 6300U processor.

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“The ZBOX C Series returns with an Intel Skylake CPU while delivering the same silent performance in an all new ZBOX size. More processing power, more entertainment and more productivity is contained within. The new C Series also support USB 3.1 Type-C, perfect for connecting to new gadgets and more bandwidth.”

Here are the specifications:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-6300U processor (dual-core up to 3.0 GHz)
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 520
  • Storage: 1x 2.5-inch SATA 6.0 Gbps bay
  • RAM: 2x DDR3L-1600 SoDIMM slots (up to 16GB supported)
  • USB: 2x USB 3.1 Type-C, 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0
  • Networking: Dual Gigabit LAN, 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Video output: DisplayPort, HDMI

Previous 'nano' systems in the C-series have offered VESA mounting, and this new system is no exception. A completely fanless system, this unit was quite heavy in hand but should pose no issue for most larger displays.

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Networking includes dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and 802.11ac Wi-Fi

No specifics on pricing or release date just yet.

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Zotac

Windows 8 Also Deprecated on January 12th

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2016 - 10:31 PM |
Tagged: Windows 8.1, windows 8, microsoft

So I was just browsing ZDNet when I came across a post by Ed Bott. Turns out that Microsoft, on top of deprecating Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10, will also end support for the original Windows 8 on that date. To receive security updates, users will need to install the Windows 8.1 update first. Alternatively, if they have Windows 8 Pro, they can exercise their downgrade rights and install Windows 7 Pro. You can also install Windows 10, but I'm sure Microsoft has told you that ad nauseum.

Windows8TheEndLogo.png

They reason for this is because Windows 8.1 is considered a service pack. Microsoft allows service packs to be delayed for up to 24 months before they stop developing security updates. Once they upgrade to Windows 8.1, they will remain supported until 2018 with “extended” support until 2023. Windows 7 will continue to be supported until 2020.

The vast majority of our readers probably don't care. One or two might have an old laptop that you've never bothered pushing the service pack on, or they work for an enterprise IT firm that will have an annoying week starting Monday.

Source: ZDNet

CES 2016: In Win Displays Revised 805 Enclosure Concept

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 8, 2016 - 07:15 PM |
Tagged: tempered glass, In Win 805, in win, enclosure, concept, CES 2016, CES, cases

In Win was showing a concept for a new version of their 805 chassis at their booth on the CES 2016 show floor, and this version adds a special front panel with an infinite LED effect from its dual-mirror construction.

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In addition to the cool front panel effect the 805 concept is compatible with RGB headers on certain motherboards (such as the ASUS ROG board used in the booth display), which control case lighting effects. The system on display was cycling color along with the ASUS ROG logo on the motherboard, and created a unique effect – especially given the front panel design, which really needs to be seen in person to maximize the effect.

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Internally we are looking at the same enclosure as the existing 805, a fantastic looking design with tempered glass side panels, and here are the specifications of that enclosure (which launched back in August of 2015):

  • Case Size: Mid Tower
  • Material: Aluminum and 3 mm tempered glass
  • Internal drive bays    3.5"/2.5" x2 + 2.5" x2 (up to 4 drives total)
  • Motherboard: ATX / Micro-ATX /Mini-ITX  (max 12” x 10.5”)
  • Expansion slots: 8
  • Power supply: ATX 12V, PSII Size and EPS up to 220mm
  • Front I/O: USB 3.1 TYPE-C x1, USB 3.0 x1, USB 2.0 x2, HD Audio
  • GPU support: Up to 320mm (164 mm height)
  • Cooling support:
  • CPU heatsink up to 156mm
  • Front 120/140mm Fan x2
  • Rear 120mm Fan x1 (Included)
  • Bottom 120mm Fan x2 (HDD cage removed)
  • Liquid cooling support:
  • Front: 120/140/240/280mm Radiator (Height up to 60mm)
  • Rear: 120mm Radiator (Height up to 35mm)
  • Dimension (HxWxD)    476 x 205 x 455 mm (18.7”x 8” x 18”)

DSC_0246.jpg

In Win is looking for feedback with this concept of a new 805 design, and the current 805 (minus the infinite LED front panel) is available for $169 (Newegg) here in the US.

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: In Win

Marc Laidlaw, Lead Writer for Half-Life Franchise, Retires

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2016 - 07:06 PM |
Tagged: valve, half life 3

I won't blame them if they hide the silverware, however. I can be trusted with company secrets, but not with spoons. Never with spoons.

Marc Laidlaw is an author of science fiction, who wrote much of the story of Half-Life, its expansions, and Half-Life 2. Valve's flat corporate structure (at least at the time) makes it difficult to find out who did what. All employees are listed alphabetically in the credits. He hasn't been given a lot of public credit since Half-Life 2, though.

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Whatever he's been working on, he has since retired from the company after eighteen years. On his way out, he emailed a Reddit user with opinions regarding his departure, because that's a Valve thing to do I guess. Gamasutra confirmed it's true. It's a relatively short, interview format letter. The Reddit user apparently initiated contact and didn't realize Marc had just retired.

He wouldn't go into too many details about why he left the company, except that he's “old” and he wants to start writing his own narratives. He published several novels before being hired at Valve Software, which he apparently shelved after The 37th Mandala at the short story Catamounts in 1996. He wrote a couple of short stories in the last 2000s, right after Half-Life 2: Episode 2 launched. He wishes to go back to doing that again, which should be a nice retirement pass-time.

What this means for future Half-Life titles? Who knows.

He says that everything's in Valve's hands at the moment, but he could very well have wrapped up involvement in a project just before he left. I mean, it's been five or six years since his last publicly credited work. That's plenty of time to finish an unannounced product. Again, who knows?

Source: Reddit

CES 2016: In Win H-Frame Open Air Chassis and PSU

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 8, 2016 - 07:03 PM |
Tagged: PSII, open air case, in win, H-Frame, enclosure, CES 2016, CES, aluminum case

Among the enclosures on display at the In Win booth at CES 2016 was the H-Frame (not to be confused with the H-Tower), a striking, open-air enclosure with tempered glass side panels.

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In Win highlights these features for the enclosure:

  • Stunning lighting effect with light controller
  • Open-air layered aluminium metal plate structure provides excellent thermal performance
  • Supports USB 3.1 TYPE-C Super Speed transfer interface
  • Convenient water cooling pump holder for versatile cooling option
  • Equipped with 2 x 3.5”/2.5” SATA HDD modules and Tool-Free EZ-Swap HDD tray
  • Unique In Win logo thumb screws

Every detail of the industrial design was clearly considered with the design of this H-Frame chassis, which has a very high level of fit and finish throughout. I was able to go hands on with the enclosure, which is very large in person at 23.5 inches high, 22.9 inches deep, and 10.6 inches wide. The tempered glass sides are tinted, which helps to reduce visible cable clutter behind the motherboard tray.

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Besides the glass side panels, the entire construction is aluminum, and inside there is a full tower, standard ATX layout. No so standard is the external chassis design, which is a collection of aluminum plates that leave the outer walls of the case open to the air. This is not ideal for noise or dust of course, but this is the tradeoff with open-air designs which focus on cooling and ease of installation.

An interesting addition to the H-Frame announcement is a matching power supply from In Win, which is specifically designed for this limited edition enclosure. The matching SII-1065W is a very large, fully modular PSU that exceeds the width of standard ATX designs, classified as a PSII size PSU. Offering 1065 watts of power, this PSU has an efficiency equivalent to 80 Plus Platinum according to In Win.

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Style matters, of course, so the PSU is color matched and includes internal lighting to match the H-Frame, visible through the clear PSU side panel which is designed to face the windowed side of the enclosure.

H-Frame specifications from In Win:

  • Case size: Full Tower
  • Material: Aluminum Metal Structure
  • Motherboard form-factor: E-ATX / ATX / Micro-ATX / Mini- ITX (max 12” x 13”)
  • Expansion slots: PCI-E Slot x8
    • Supports High-end Graphic Card up to 440mm (Without HDD Tray)
  • Drive bays (internal): 3.5” / 2.5” x6
    • (Supports SATA HDD EZ-Swap Module x 2)
  • Thermal solution support:
    • 120mm Top Fan x3
    • 120mm Rear Fan x1
    • 360mm Top Radiator (height up to 40mm)
    • Supports at least 185mm height CPU heatsink
  • Power Supply: Supports ATX12V & EPS12V up to 210mm 
  • Dimensions: 597 x 271 x 582mm (23.5” x 10.6” x 22.9”)

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Pricing and availability were not available for the H-Frame Open-Air Chassis and SII-1065W power supply.

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: In Win

CES 2016: EVGA is making a gaming case

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2016 - 06:09 PM |
Tagged: prototype, gaming case, evga, CES 2016, CES

While we have already posted our story and given you a video breakdown of the upcoming EVGA SC 17 gaming notebook, the company had another revolutionary product on display at its suite that I think our readers are going to enjoy seeing. I bring to you, the EVGA Gaming Case:

evga-case2.jpg

As we dive through this, keep in mind that EVGA claims this is an early prototype but that it should have product on the market by end of Q2 2016. 

The case is HUGE, like, bigger that you might imagine just from looking at the pictures. The first feature that stands out is that EVGA intends for the orientation of the case to have the window facing the gamer, rotating it from a standard case direction by 90 degrees. That puts your components and lighting and all the work you put into it on full display, which is great, but it also means you'll need more space on your desk or on your floor in one dimension.

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The current build is all plastic, but EVGA's CEO Andrew Han told me it would be all metal when it shipped, an impressive feat for sure. The internals are not rotated at all but EVGA was able to keep a clean look from the "new front" by including a swinging door on the back where the display connections and USB ports, etc. come out, hiding them from view.

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Power supplies are hidden by the mirror finish bottom section that currently holds an easy to use, if overly simplified, intake/exhaust fan speed controller. The power button is also on the bottom right of the case, a result of the new orientation that EVGA plans for. The company will offer different versions of the case, ranging from $79 to $299 depending on features, the most expensive of which will upgrade that fan controller to a full LCD touch screen that can also display and interact with EVGA's Precision X software. Very cool!

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A full window faces the user, bigger than any case I have had experience with. An illuminated EVGA logo sits on the right hiding water cooling gear you might have installed. The internals have more than enough room for basically any and all hardware, as you could guess from the size of the thing. There are zero optical drive bays - sorry Josh - but the back has space for eight 3.5-in drives and six 2.5-in drives. 

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It's too early for me to make a final statement, but the case is surely ambitious. If they can pull it off, EVGA might just create the ultimate enthusiast PC case without going completely insane on pricing. With targets of $79 on the low end, but keeping the same metal construction and layout, and $299 on the high end, this unnamed case will stay on my radar in 2016.

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PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: EVGA

CES 2016: AMD Announces Wraith Cooler

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2016 - 05:38 PM |
Tagged: CES, CES 2016, amd, cpu cooler, air cooler

AMD seems to be starting off 2016 right. This is the year that they intend to switch to the Zen microarchitecture, and hopefully reclaim a profitable CPU market-share. While that's later in the year, they showed off a new stock cooler that will be bundled with upcoming processors. We don't have a press release or announcement for it, but they did publish a video to their Red Team fan community and they discussed it with attendees of the show.

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The new cooler, called the Wraith, is significantly larger than their previous stock heatsink. It is rated at 125W, up from the previous offering's 95W. This dissipation wattage might allow some overclocking room, depending on the chosen TDP at launch, while providing lower noise at stock voltage and frequency. The fan is now constant speed, so it shouldn't whine under load. It might have also allowed them to tune the fan for its RPM, too.

Speaking of lower noise, the aforementioned video shows a dramatic reduction in that area. We're force to trust their recording and frequency-distribution graph. If accurate, the noise appears to be much lower and the energy is spread out over many frequencies.

No clue when it will launch, though.

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: AMD

A pint sized watercooler from Corsair specifically for SFF builds, the Corsair H5 SF in action

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 8, 2016 - 05:22 PM |
Tagged: corsair, Corsair H5 SF

As you can see from the picture the design of the H5 SF cooler is significantly different from the norm, instead it is built specifically for SFF cases and you would be hard pressed to install it in a full sized case.  Even some mini-ITX motherboards such as the ASUS MAXIMUS VII Impact are not compatible with the cooler, although some inventive use of standoffs and screws might allow a daring user to install it.  MadShrimps have not had time to fully test the cooler but it is interesting enough that you should take a peek at what it looks like when installed in a system.

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"Last year Corsair introduced the Bulldog small form factor PC at Computex 2015. The CPU and GPU were cooled by their own in-house branded Hydro all in one closed circuit cooling units. The GPU cooling units were also separately available back then. Early this week our H5 SF CPU cooling unit arrived, exclusively aimed to be used with mITX sized motherboards inside a small form factor enclosure. Today we bring you only a preview as we encountered some minor installation woes with our test bed and the latest Hydro release."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

 

Source: MadShrimps

CES 2016: Windows 10 PC-Exclusive Data Plans

Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2016 - 04:44 PM |
Tagged: CES, CES 2016, microsoft, windows 10

Microsoft is partnering with Transatel to provide cellular data services for Windows 10 PCs and tablets, but not phones. It will launch in France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, but could be rolled out to other regions over time. This will not be a contract service. Everything will be pre-paid, with short-term plans (think “XGB for the next 30 days for Y upfront”) available for a discount before a trip or something.

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One downside is that compatible PCs will require a SIM card slot, which a Microsoft-branded SIM card will be inserted into. The write-up at Thurrott.com doesn't discuss external adapters, like the USB cellular modems that carriers offer and were popular until tethering became mainstream. A few unlocked LTE, USB modems can be found online, which you'd think would be compatible, but I'm not up on many of the details. I'm not a mobile enthusiast.

Despite the source being a Microsoft corporate VP, speaking on the record, it has not been officially announced by the company yet. Details, like when it will be available, have not been released.

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Thurrott.com

CES 2016: AMD Shows Polaris Architecture and HDMI FreeSync Displays

Subject: Graphics Cards, Displays | January 8, 2016 - 02:56 PM |
Tagged: video, Polaris, hdmi, freesync, CES 2016, CES, amd

At its suite at CES this year, AMD was showing off a couple of new technologies. First, we got to see the upcoming Polaris GPU architecture in action running Star Wars Battlefront with some power meters hooked up. This is a similar demo to what I saw in Sonoma back in December, and it compares an upcoming Polaris GPU against the NVIDIA GTX 950. The result: total system power of just 86 watts on the AMD GPU and over 150 watts on the NVIDIA GPU.

Another new development from AMD on the FreeSync side of things was HDMI integration. The company took time at CES to showcase a pair of new HDMI-enabled monitors working with FreeSync variable refresh rate technology. 

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: AMD

MSI trims the fat off the Z170A SLI Plus but leaves the meat

Subject: Motherboards | January 8, 2016 - 02:48 PM |
Tagged: msi, Z170A SLI PLUS

The overall look of the is quite nice, traces are covered and the simplistic black and silver colour scheme will appeal to those of us who prefer simplicity to dancing LEDs.  However [H]ard|OCP was somewhat disappointed by the vertically aligned SATA ports and the lack of Steel Armor PCI-E reinforcement on the third PCIe slot, however some sacrifices needed to be made to bring the price down to around $160.  MSI did keep their 11 power phases, Military Class 4 components and energy efficient dark chokes, far more important to performance than what they did omit.  Check out the full review to see the UEFI screens and overall performance of this Gold Award winning board.

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"Sometimes less is more. That’s the approach MSI has taken with the MSI Z170A SLI Plus. Sure, ridiculously overpriced and feature packed motherboards are nice to drool but sometimes you want just the right tool for the job. The MSI Z170A SLI Plus is poised to be everything you need and nothing you don’t."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Razer's sharp new Smartwatches, the Nabu and Nabu Forged Edition

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2016 - 02:22 PM |
Tagged: CES, smartwatch, razer, Nabu, forged edition

Razer announced two new smartwatches which will be on sale towards the end of the month, $150 for the Nabu and $200 for the Forged Edition.  Both watches will have the features you should expect, an illuminated backlit display, countdown timer, stopwatch, and automatic time sync via Bluetooth to ensure that you are on time.  The secondary screen will display call, text and email notifications once it is paired to your cellphone, as well as app alerts and fitness tracking information such as sleeping patterns and distance travelled.

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The Nabu

The watch will also be able to communicate directly with other Razer Nabus which are in range, allowing you to swap Facebook and Twitter info as well as letting you keep up with the latest Gungan politics.  You can expect 7 days worth of usage on a single charge and the coin-style battery should be good for 12 months of usage before you need to replace it. 

NabuWatch_frg_02.png

The Nabu Forged Edition

LAS VEGAS (CES 2016) – Razer, a world leader in connected devices and software for gamers, today announced the Razer Nabu Watch. The full-featured digital timepiece includes a Nabu secondary screen that previews notifications streamed from a smartphone, as well as tracks fitness and sleep activity via an in-built accelerometer.

While smartwatches have proliferated the industry in 2015, one of the biggest challenges to the devices have been their battery life and their fundamental lack of capability as a multi-function watch. Razer addresses these issues by focusing first on the digital chronograph as the primary function and the smart features as a secondary addition.

The Razer Nabu Watch includes features expected of top-tier digital watches – an illuminated backlit display, countdown timer, stopwatch, World time clocks and alarms – as well as automatic phone time sync via Bluetooth to ensure the watch is always accurate to the global standard. Most importantly, the Razer Nabu Watch digital chronograph component has a 12- month life on its coin cell replaceable battery.

A secondary screen outfitted in the Razer Nabu Watch delivers all the features of a Nabu wearable, including discreet notifications, fitness tracking and watch-to-watch communication. Paired to a user’s smartphone via Bluetooth, calls, texts, emails and app alerts all stream to the secondary screen for ease of viewing. An in-built accelerometer enables comprehensive fitness tracking – steps walked, distance traveled, calories burned and more.

Finally, with its unique watch-to-watch communication capability, two Nabu Watch users can shake hands to exchange Facebook and Twitter info easily. This feature works interchangeably between any Nabu Watch, Nabu and/or Nabu X. The watch’s secondary screen has seven days of rechargeable battery life via an included charging cable. “We’re bringing together the reliability and incredible functionality of a digital timepiece, with added smart features to empower the tech enthusiasts of today,” says Razer CEO and co- founder, Min-Liang Tan.

“We’re also just really excited to create a digital watch that we’re proud to call our own – a natural intersection between our popular work in apparel and wearables. This was something our fans have asked for, and we’re happy to deliver.” The Razer Nabu Watch is available in two versions. The standard edition is designed with tough polycarbonate materials and with Razer green highlights. It will be available from late January 2016 and is priced at $149.99. The Razer Nabu Watch Forged Edition has machined stainless steel buttons for added durability and a premium black finish. It is available from January 6th 2016 exclusively at RazerStore retail locations and at RazerStore.com, priced at $199.99.

For more information on the Razer Nabu Watch, please visit www.razerzone.com/watch.

 

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Razer

CES 2016: Seasonic prepares flagship Prime series of PSUs

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2016 - 02:07 PM |
Tagged: CES, CES 2016, seasonic, prime, power supply

In a meeting with Seasonic at CES this week, the company revealed plans for a completely new series of power supplies coming this spring. The new Seasonic Prime series will come in both Platinum and Titanium editions, with wattage ranges of 650 watts to 1000 watts on the former and 550 watt to 1200 watts on the latter. These power supplies will now be ahead of the X-Series in the brand hierarchy. 

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Seasonic is well known in the industry for top quality products and is one of the key manufacturers for other PSU brands that you know and love. They want to build a new flagship brand of their own though, going with an impressively svelte design and include enough features and capabilities to stand out in a crowded market. 

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Both Platinum and Titanium designs will include a totally new hybrid fan control design that allows for a zero fan speed design up to 45% of system load on the higher wattage units. Zero PCB cabling minimizes the chances for individual failure and is aided by the completely modular design. Though the unit is analog rather than digital, Seasonic promises to maintain a 0.5% nominal tolerance on the load regulation on the 12V line. Also, all of the Seasonic Prime power supplies will come with a full 10-year (!!) warranty.

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Looking for a fanless design? Seasonic will have you covered with the Titanium Fanless units at both 400 watt and 550 watt variants.

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Expect the newest Seasonic power supplies to hit stores in April!

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

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Source: Seasonic

If you really don't want to upgrade to Windows 10 ...

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2016 - 01:21 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10

There are those who are not interested in upgrading to Windows 10 from 7 or 8.x and they offer a variety of reasons as to why they will not.  Recently two objections have been resolved, with the newest Media Creation Tool from Microsoft you are now able to do a clean install, using your Win7/8.x key during the installation process.  As well Scott has shown how you can force a roll-back if you encounter difficulties after the upgrade.

If you still have no interest in the new OS, then take a gander at these tips from The Register which will disable those annoying popups.  By making these changes to the registry you will retain the ability to recieve updates via Microsoft Update, you just will not see the nag screen asking you to upgrade to Win10.  They also mention a way to stop the update files from being downloaded.  You can also just choose to ignore this until Microsoft's stated deadline of  July, at which point the popup should disappear as well.

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"If you're using a PC running Windows 7 or 8, you may be getting a little sick of endless popup screens telling you to upgrade to version 10. And you may be worried about inadvertently installing the upgrade as part of a security update."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: Slashdot

CES 2016: In Win Launches H-Tower Transforming Enclosure

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 8, 2016 - 11:32 AM |
Tagged: tempered glass, PSU, power supply, in win, enclosure, CES 2016, CES, aluminum case

The centerpiece of the In Win booth at this year’s CES is the massive H-Tower enclosure, a limited edition chassis that transforms from an enclosure to an open platform automatically. The company had a version of this enclosure at Computex, but now a final 6th generation of the concept is set for e-tail availablility.

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The transformation is a sight to behold (which in this final version now uses a medical grade arm for smooth operation), and has the practical benefit of providing easy access to your system components. In Win has provided a video to demonstrate the H-Tower, imbedded below:

Beyond the unique mechanical functionality, the H-Tower is about as premium an enclosure as you could imagine, beginning with a brushed aluminum exterior with lighting effects that can be controlled with a mobile app. There is also an integrated laser lighting system which “indicates the safe opening area on the floor around it” – an important point to consider once you see the enclosure in action.

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Front I/O includes three USB 3.0 ports and a USB Type-C port

The interior supports motherboards up to E-ATX, graphics cards up to 340 mm, tall CPU coolers up to 200 mm, and there is room for a larger liquid cooling well as well with three 120 mm fan opening supporting up to a 360 x 35 mm radiator. Storage options are limited to a single 3.5-inch HDD with room for four 2.5-inch SSDs. Large power supplies of up to 230 mm are supported as well.

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There are two versions of the H-Tower, with the titanium version shown at the booth as well as an official ASUS Republic of Gamers version that is black with red accents.

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The enclosure will be available in February in North America, and Newegg already has a pre-order listing for a staggering $2399.

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

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Source: In Win

CES 2016: New Intel Compute Sticks

Subject: Systems, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2016 - 03:45 AM |
Tagged: CES, CES 2016, Intel, compute stick

Intel has announced two new Compute Sticks with a handful of available SKUs.

On the high end, in terms of Compute Sticks at least, two products are available. At the low end of the two, a Core m3 processor will be present, and Windows 10 will be pre-installed for $399. The high-end variant will have a faster Core m5 processor, but no pre-installed OS for $499. It seems odd that a choice in SoC will be tied to the OS, but I'm guessing the Intel doesn't want to have too many SKUs for a potentially low-volume product.

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Regardless of the above choice, both Core M-level Compute Sticks, above, have 4GB of RAM, 64GB of eMMC storage, HDMI, and 3x USB ports. They also have Wireless AC and Bluetooth 4.1 for wireless connectivity.

Beyond the above two products, a low end, Intel Atom-based Compute Stick is available. Just one SKU will be available, though. It has the same Intel Atom x5-Z8300 that was present on the Zotac PC Stick. It also has 2GB of RAM, 32GB of eMMC storage, HDMI, and 2x USB ports. It has Wireless AC, but Bluetooth 4.0 (instead of the Core M version's 4.1). It will be available for $159.

Release dates are not announced, but the Atom-based Compute Sticks are in production, and the Core M-based one will enter production next month.

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PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

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Source: Intel (pdf)