Mushkin's Reactor 1TB SSD, great performance and price

Subject: Storage | May 13, 2016 - 07:30 PM |
Tagged: Mushkin, Reactor, 1TB, jmicron, JMF612, mlc

While not quite within Ryan's Law, the Mushkin Reactor 1TB model usually sells for around $240.  As the price implies this drive uses MLC flash but the three year warranty should be enough to see you to your next upgrade.  The Tech Report decided to test out the drive to ensure users were getting performance as well as a great value. The results speak for themselves, with better performance than expected.

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"Mushkin's Reactor 1TB SSD is a frequent star of our weekly deals posts. We put it to the test to see whether it offers high performance along with its low price tag."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

MSI's DS502; one order of gaming headset, hold the extras

Subject: General Tech | May 12, 2016 - 09:56 PM |
Tagged: msi, ds502, gaming headset, virtual 7.1, audio

MSI's DS502 seem great for the gamer on a budget who needs to play quietly but who would still like some style.  At $64 they do have some compromises such as 40mm drivers and a self adjusting headband but they also have the features you want such as plush earcups and virtual 7.1 surround sound.  Kitguru found them effective during gameplay and the mic, while not stellar was good enough for in game communications and did not need the input to be raised significantly to be audible.  If you are in need of a simple headset with controls that give you enough options to game and want to leave the fancy stuff to the audiophiles drop by for a look at the review.

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"Today we are taking a look at MSI’s brand new gaming headset, the DS502, boasting 7.1 surround sound, premium build and Hi-Fi level sound quality in a lightweight, ergonomically designed package. How does it hold up? "

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Audio Corner

Source: Kitguru

Podcast #399 - GTX 1080 Launch, UWP Updates, DOOM Vulkan Patch, Kaby Lake Leaks, ASUS ROG STRIX X99, and more!

Subject: General Tech | May 12, 2016 - 08:28 PM |
Tagged: podcast, video, GTX 1080, galax, founders, uwp, doom, vulkan, kaby lake, EKWB, rog strix x99

PC Perspective Podcast #399 - 05/11/2016

Join us this week as we discuss the GTX 1080 Launch, UWP Updates, DOOM Vulkan Patch, Kaby Lake Leaks, ASUS ROG STRIX X99, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

This episode of the PC Perspective Podcast is sponsored by Casper!

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano

Program length: 1:03:21

  1. Week in Review:
  2. AD BREAK
  3. News items of interest:
  4. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
    1. Allyn: Old retro gaming history from PlayValue
  5. Closing/outro

Subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube Channel for more videos, reviews and podcasts!!

G.Skill has a different take on Cherry MX RGB, check out the Ripjaws KM780R

Subject: General Tech | May 12, 2016 - 07:40 PM |
Tagged: input, G.Skill, Ripjaws KM780R, gaming keyboard, Cherry MX, cherry mx rgb

G.Skill have joined the ranks of those who have released a Cherry MX RGB keyboard, you can choose between Red, Brown and Blue switches to accompany the light show. They chose an interesting set of caps, which float above the keyboard allowing more backlighting to show through but The Tech Report noticed that the caps feel like they are rubbing against something.  As the caps are replaceable this can be resolved if you do find it to be an issue, but you will lose some light and the keyboard will not be as easy to clean.  In addition to having audio jacks and a USB pass-through the optional software allows an immense amount of control over your lighting.  Drop by and see if this keyboard meets your needs.

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"Established RAM manufacturer G.Skill is branching into gaming peripherals of late. We've already examined the company's Ripjaws MX780 gaming mouse, and now we're looking at the KM780R gaming keyboard. Join us as we see whether this keyboard has what it takes to be a contender in the crowded gaming peripherals market."

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Tech Talk

Say it ain't so AMD; Polaris may not shine at Computex?

Subject: General Tech | May 12, 2016 - 05:56 PM |
Tagged: rumour, Polaris, computex, amd

There is a rumour floating around this morning and it is not good.  Guru of 3D translated a story over at Nordic Hardware which suggests AMD has stated they will not have any new working cards to show at Computex.  The only Polaris hardware they will have ready will be equivalent to the current R9 390 and 390X, albeit at a lower price point.  The rumoured problem is that the new flagship cards simply won't hit 850 MHz reliably, which in turn means high end GPUs are right out. 

This had better not be true or AMD may find themselves shoeless and GPU enthusiasts will be as disappointed as White Sox fans back in 1919, albeit for different reasons.  Those in the NVIDIA camp would do well to remember this has an effect on them as well; why would NVIDIA lower the price on those shiny new 1080's or 1070's when there is nothing in the market to compete with them? 

This is a rumour from an anonymous source at an AMD partner, so be sure to take it with a grain of salt and hope that it is completely unsubstantiated; or that a silicon-based miracle happens in the coming months if there is some substance to this.

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"Okay before I start on this news-item, I really need to state that this is based on a vague rumor, nothing has been confirmed or denied otherwise. Here's the story, some reports say Polaris 10 can't hit 850 MHz reliably and that availability will be pushed back to October. I sincerely hope the rumor is not true."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Guru of 3D

Final Fantasy X and X-2 Confirmed for PC... Launches Today

Subject: General Tech | May 12, 2016 - 11:01 AM |
Tagged: square enix, final fantasy

Okay, so we're starting to get just about every main-line Final Fantasy title on the PC platform. They haven't always arrived in good condition, with Final Fantasy XIII having major user interface issues, which were mostly (but not entirely) patched, and Final Fantasy IX requiring the installation of a few Android plug-ins... on Windows. Still, many of them are classics and it's therefore good to have them on platforms that (barring current UWP discussions) encourage perpetual compatibility.

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As for its system requirements? They don't specify integrated GPUs, ie: Intel, but what they do list are what we would expect for a game that targets the Xbox 360 and PS3. If it comes from AMD or NVIDIA, and they are still releasing drivers for it, you should be fine. SquareEnix declares a minimum of either a AMD Radeon HD 2600XT or a NVIDIA GeForce 9600GT.

Check out the Steam page if you're concerned, though.

Excluding the spin-offs, the PC is now missing just the original Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy II, Final Fantasy XII, and the upcoming Final Fantasy XV. The rest have arrived on the PC in some form, be it a port of the original or one of their remasters. Still no word on any of those remaining four, though, but it seems like Square is just dropping games onto Steam with a few days of notice now.

Oddly enough, no price is listed (at least in Canada). No idea why.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.5.2 Beta

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 12, 2016 - 03:53 AM |
Tagged: amd, crimson, graphics drivers

For the second time this month, hence the version number, AMD has released a driver to coincide with a major game release. This one is for DOOM, which will be available on Friday. Like the previous driver, which was aligned with Forza, it has not been WHQL-certified. That's okay, though. NVIDIA's Game Ready drivers didn't strive for WHQL certification until just recently, and, even then, WHQL certification doesn't mean what it used to.

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But yeah, apart from game-specific optimizations for DOOM, 16.5.2 has a few extra reasons to be used. If you play Battleborn, which launched on May 3rd, then AMD has added a new CrossFire profile for that game. They have also fixed at least eleven issues (plus however many undocumented ones). It comes with ten known issues, but none of them seem particularly troubling. It seems to be mostly CrossFire-related issues.

You can pick up the driver at AMD's website.

Source: AMD

NVIDIA Limits GTX 1080 SLI to Two Cards

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 12, 2016 - 02:57 AM |
Tagged: sli, nvidia, GTX 1080, GeForce GTX 1080

Update (May 12th, 1:45am): Okay so the post has been deleted, which was originally from Chris Bencivenga, Support Manager at EVGA. A screenshot of it is attached below. Note that Jacob Freeman later posted that "More info about SLI support will be coming soon, please stay tuned." I guess this means take the news with a grain of salt until an official word can be released.

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Original Post Below

According to EVGA, NVIDIA will not support three- and four-way SLI on the GeForce GTX 1080. They state that, even if you use the old, multi-way connectors, it will still be limited to two-way. The new SLI connector (called SLI HB) will provide better performance “than 2-way SLI did in the past on previous series”. This suggests that the old SLI connectors can be used with the GTX 1080, although with less performance and only for two cards.

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This is the only hard information that we have on this change, but I will elaborate a bit based on what I know about graphics APIs. Basically, SLI (and CrossFire) are simplifications of the multi-GPU load-balancing problems such that it is easy to do from within the driver, without the game's involvement. In DirectX 11 and earlier, the game cannot interface with the driver in that way at all. That does not apply to DirectX 12 and Vulkan, however. In those APIs, you will be able to explicitly load-balance by querying all graphics devices (including APUs) and split the commands yourself.

Even though a few DirectX 12 games exist, it's still unclear how SLI and CrossFire will be utilized in the context of DirectX 12 and Vulkan. DirectX 12 has the tier of multi-GPU called “implicit multi-adapter,” which allows the driver to load balance. How will this decision affect those APIs? Could inter-card bandwidth even be offloaded via SLI HB in DirectX 12 and Vulkan at all? Not sure yet (but you would think that they would at least add a Vulkan extension). You should be able to use three GTX 1080s in titles that manually load-balance to three or more mismatched GPUs, but only for those games.

If it relies upon SLI, which is everything DirectX 11, then you cannot. You definitely cannot.

Source: EVGA

DOOM Will Receive Vulkan Patch "Shortly After Launch"

Subject: General Tech | May 11, 2016 - 10:17 PM |
Tagged: vulkan, doom, bethesda

Update: May 11th @ 6pm EDT

NVIDIA has released new footage, which is both higher quality and longer. It is still running on the Vulkan API, although the graphics card has been switched out to the Titan X. The game is running at 1080p, 120-degree FOV, with all settings at their maximum. The game was locked to 60 FPS, but that makes sense -- they wanted it to look good on video.

The video is embedded above. NVIDIA is also self-hosting their original capture (plus a blog post) if you want to see it without YouTube's recompression (or you don't want to stream from YouTube for other reasons).

Bethesda also has their own, new video, which is just above this.

We return to the original news post, below.

At the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 event, which aligns with DreamHack Austin, id Software showed off DOOM running on Vulkan API. It will not make launch, which is this upcoming Friday, May 13th, but the game will be patched to support it “really, really shortly after launch”. Ryan was not there, but PC Gamer took video of the presentation and posted it to their YouTube.

Video Credit: PC Gamer

We don't know how performance compares with OpenGL, but the Vulkan numbers (running on the GTX 1080) are pretty impressive. After they uncapped the engine, the listed frame rate stayed above 120 FPS except in the most intense battles, at which point it had momentary drops to about 100-120 FPS. According to PC Gamer, because I didn't hear it explicitly mentioned in the video, this is all at 1080p.

That's... good... to say the least.

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This also means a game that officially supports Vulkan will land at around the same time as DirectX 12. We have a few DirectX 12 titles but, while Ashes of the Singularity is a good example, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition was plagued with performance problems, and so was Quantum Break. Tomb Raider and Hitman have DirectX 12 support, too, but it doesn't signal a commanding lead for DirectX 12. It still depends upon the engines, especially Unreal Engine, CryEngine, Frostbite, and Unity, but it's another sign that Vulkan arrived on time.

DOOM Launches on Friday the 13th.

Source: PC Gamer

NVIDIA Order of 10 Competition: 10 Challenges. 100 Chances to Win. One of 1,000 Prizes

Subject: General Tech | May 11, 2016 - 08:40 PM |
Tagged: arg, nvidia, giveaway, GTX 1080

ARG, it's the bees all over again!  That's right, another alternate reality game has arrived, this time from NVIDIA to celebrate their new GPU.  The puzzles honour mathematicians such as Pascal, which makes sense considering NVIDIA's recent naming conventions.  Try to solve the puzzles to win some serious prizes.

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With the online ARG and the Dreamhack Austin-based live Tessellation Hunt now behind us, the Order of 10 is kicking into high gear! Earlier today, we began our mission promising fans, "10 Challenges. 100 Chances to Win. One of 1,000 Prizes."

Daily prizes include limited edition Order of 10 T-shirts (50 each day) and pins (50 each day). One (1) lucky winner each day will be awarded an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition card!

Each day’s puzzle solvers are also entered to win an "Elite Game Ready PC”. Key components include: Intel Core i7-5820K processor, 2x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition GPU with new SLI HB bridge, 32GB HyperX Fury DDR4-2666 (Quad Channel) memory, a VR HMD and Windows 10 Home 64-bit operating system!

For your shot at snagging a new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founder’s Edition card, or even a complete new Elite Game Ready gaming rig, make your way to OrderOf10.com and solve your way through PASCAL’s triangle of puzzles.

ELIGIBILITY: Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of:

  • 50 United States and DC
  • Canada (excluding Quebec)
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland) …who are at least 18 years old or the age of majority in their respective states/jurisdictions of permanent residence, whichever is greater, as of May 10, 2016.

Source: NVIDIA

Hmm, this better not be Civ V, take II

Subject: General Tech | May 11, 2016 - 07:04 PM |
Tagged: gaming, Civ V, sid meier

Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN got a deeper look at Civ VI than just the launch trailer and it is hard to say if this will be a good one or not.  The armies will continue to be unstackable but they have created formations, allowing you to group a number of units to move together which will lessen the onerous task of moving your armies around.  This may help somewhat but we shall see how they deal with terrain and path calculation.  The unstackable trait will now infect cities, buildings no longer stack on top of your city but will be laid out on the map just like improvements.  No longer will you be sending out workers to build farms as you have in previous games, instead they will be working on upgrades from your city menu.

Research is now not only geographically based but also reliant on certain resources or upgrades; if they are appropriate your research will go much faster.  Diplomacy and the AI have also been changed.  There is not enough information yet to make a call but so far the news is worrying and it seems unlikely devoted fans will move away from Civ IV and its mods.

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"The game is running on a brand new suite of software, built to be far more mod-friendly than its predecessor, and as well as brand new AI systems, there are a host of new mechanics that will explore and emphasise your relationship with Civ’s greatest character: the map."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Updated colours for the Enthoo Pro M Acrylic Edition

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 11, 2016 - 06:20 PM |
Tagged: phanteks, Enthoo Pro M

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Phanteks updated their Enthoo PRO M Acrylic Window Edition with three new colours.  You can choose from Titanium Green, Brushed Black and Anthracite Grey. 

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Walnut, California, May 10th, 2016 – Phanteks today introduced the new Titanium Green and Anthracite Gray Enthoo Pro M Acrylic Edition. The new color will be available for immediate release.

The PRO M Acrylic Window Edition has a full acrylic window, front and top brushed aluminum look panels, and the innovative radiator bracket. The I/O port now resides on the side of the front panel creating a simple but elegant design without the cost.

The PRO M Acrylic Window Edition will feature a large interior to support full ATX. A innovative top radiator bracket to allow easy installation of the radiator and/or fans like the Enthoo EVOLV ATX and the EVOLV ITX.

The PRO M Acrylic Window Edition comes with the all new HDD mounting system multiple storage with the optional HDD bracket (PH-HDDKT_02).

Source: Phanteks

So long WiFi Sense, don't let the door hit you ...

Subject: General Tech | May 11, 2016 - 05:26 PM |
Tagged: wifi sense, security, microsoft

Here is an update we can get behind!  Windows 10 Build 14342 will no longer have WiFi Sense, that bizarre feature which Microsoft added which would pass on any of your stored WiFi passwords to your contacts as well as overriding your preferred network if one of your contacts signals was available.  This caused a certain amount of alarm as you might not trust every contact you might have on Outlook.com with your WiFi password nor trust their WiFi networks.  The blather about high cost and low demand is an interesting cover for changing their minds, regardless it is good to see it go.  There were a couple of other updates included in this release, check them out at The Inquirer.

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"We have removed the WiFi Sense feature that allows you to share WiFi networks with your contacts and to be automatically connected to networks shared by your contacts," explained Aul."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

Here Comes the Maxwell Rebates

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2016 - 11:50 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, maxwell, GTX 980 Ti, GTX 970, GTX 1080, geforce

The GTX 1080 announcement is starting to ripple into retailers, leading to price cuts on the previous generation, Maxwell-based SKUs. If you were interested in the GTX 1080, or an AMD graphics card of course, then you probably want to keep waiting. That said, you can take advantage of the discounts to get a VR-ready GPU or if you already have a Maxwell card that could use a cheap SLI buddy.

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This tip comes from a NeoGAF thread. Microcenter has several cards on sale, but EVGA seems to have the biggest price cuts. This 980 Ti has dropped from $750 USD down to $499.99 (or $474.99 if you'll promise yourself to do that mail-in rebate). That's a whole third of its price slashed, and puts it about a hundred dollars under GTX 1080. Granted, it will also be slower than the GTX 1080, with 2GB less video RAM, but $100 might be worth that for you.

They highlight two other EVGA cards as well. Both deals are slight variations on the GTX 970 line, and they are available for $250 and $255 ($225 and $230 after mail-in rebate).

Source: NeoGAF

Video Perspective: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Preview

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2016 - 11:29 PM |
Tagged: video, pascal, nvidia, GTX 1080, gtx 1070, geforce

After the live streamed event announcing the GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070, Allyn and I spent a few minutes this afternoon going over the information as it was provided, discussing our excitement about the product and coming to grips with what in the world a "Founder's Edition" even is.

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If you haven't yet done so, check out Scott's summary post on the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 specs right here.

Thermalright Releases Le Grand Macho RT CPU Cooler

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 10, 2016 - 08:32 PM |
Tagged: thermalright, quiet computing, Le Grande Macho, heatsink, cpu cooler, air cooling, air cooler

Thermalright has released a very large new CPU air cooler with an equally impressive name: Le Grande Macho RT.

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The Le Grande Macho RT features no fewer than 7 heat pipes from its massive heatsink, and is paired with a quiet 140 mm fan (model TY-147B) that ranges from just 300 RPM to 1300 RPM. While large it is still smaller than the company's well-respected SilverArrow dual-tower cooler, and depending on performance could offer a compelling alternative for low-noise air cooling.

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Specifications from Thermalright:

Heatsink:
Dimension: L150mm x W120mm x H159mm (Fin Area only)
L150mm x W125mm x H159mm (Heat sink incl.)
Weight: 900g
Heat pipes: 6mm heatpipe*7 units
Fin: T = 0.4 mm ; Gap = 3.1 mm
Fin Pcs: 35 pcs
Copper Base: C1100 Pure copper nickel plated
Motherboard to Fin: 36 + 8 = 44 mm 46 + 8=54 mm

TY-147B FAN:
Dimension: L152 mm x W140 mm x H26.5 mm
Weight: 160g
Rated Speed: 300 - 1300 RPM
Noise Level: 14 - 20dBA
Air Flow: 16.9- 73.6 CFM
Connector: 4 Pin (PWM Fan connector)
Bearing Type : FDB Bearing

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The Le Grand Macho RT is listed on Amazon.com for $79.99, which places it in the same territory as the Noctua NH-D14. We'll see how it performs relative to the market once reviews start to appear.

Source: Thermalright

Galax GeForce GTX 1080 Pictured with Custom Cooler

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2016 - 08:06 PM |
Tagged: video card, reference cooler, pascal, nvidia, GTX 1080, graphics card, GeForce GTX 1080, Founder's Edition

The first non-reference GTX 1080 has been revealed courtesy of Galax, and the images (via VideoCardz.com) look a lot different than the Founder's Edition.

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Galax GTX 1080 (Image Credit: VideoCardz)

The Galax is the first custom implementation of the GTX 1080 we've seen, and as such the first example of a $599 variant of the GTX 1080. The Founder's Edition cards carry a $100 premium (and offer that really nice industrial design) but ultimately it's about performance and the Galax card will presumably offer completely stock specifications.

GALAX-GeForce-GTX-1080-front.jpg

(Image Credit: VideoCardz)

Expect to see a deluge of aftermarket cooling from EVGA, ASUS, MSI, and others soon enough - most of which will presumably be using a dual or triple-fan cooler, and not a simple blower like this.

Source: VideoCardz

Microsoft updates Windows 10 UWP to support unlocked frame rates and G-Sync/FreeSync

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2016 - 04:11 PM |
Tagged: windows 10, windows, vrr, variable refresh rate, uwp, microsoft, g-sync, freesync

Back in March, Microsoft's Phil Spencer addressed some of the concerns over the Unified Windows Platform and PC gaming during his keynote address at the Build Conference. He noted that MS would "plan to open up VSync off, FreeSync, and G-Sync in May" and the company would "allow modding and overlays in UWP applications" sometime further into the future. Well it appears that Microsoft is on point with the May UWP update.

According to the MS DirectX Developer Blog, a Windows 10 update being pushed out today will enable UWP to support unlocked frame rates and variable refresh rate monitors in both G-Sync and FreeSync varieties. 

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As a direct response to your feedback, we’re excited to announce the release today of new updates to Windows 10 that make gaming even better for game developers and gamers.

Later today, Windows 10 will be updated with two key new features:

Support for AMD’s FreesyncTM and NVIDIA’s G-SYNC™ in Universal Windows Platform games and apps

Unlocked frame rate for Universal Windows Platform (UWP) games and apps

Once applications take advantage of these new features, you will be able to play your UWP games with unlocked frame rates. We expect Gears of War: UE and Forza Motorsport 6: Apex to lead the way by adding this support in the very near future.

This OS update will be gradually rolled out to all machines, but you can download it directly here.

These updates to UWP join the already great support for unlocked frame rate and AMD and NVIDIA’s technologies in Windows 10 for classic Windows (Win32) apps.

Please keep the feedback coming!

Today's update won't automatically enable these features in UWP games like Gears of War or Quantum Break, they will still need to be updated individually by the developer. MS states that Gears of War and Forza will be the first to see these changes, but there is no mention of Quantum Break here, which is a game that could DEFINITELY benefit from the love of variable refresh rate monitors. 

Microsoft describes an unlocked frame rate as thus:

Vsync refers to the ability of an application to synchronize game rendering frames with the refresh rate of the monitor. When you use a game menu to “Disable vsync”, you instruct applications to render frames out of sync with the monitor refresh. Being able to render out of sync with the monitor refresh allows the game to render as fast as the graphics card is capable (unlocked frame rate), but this also means that “tearing” will occur. Tearing occurs when part of two different frames are on the screen at the same time.

I should note that these changes do not indicate that Microsoft is going to allow UWP games to go into an exclusive full screen mode - it still believes the disadvantages of that configuration outweigh the advantages. MS wants its overlays and a user's ability to easily Alt-Tab around Windows 10 to remain. Even though MS mentions screen tearing, I don't think that non-exclusive full screen applications will exhibit tearing.

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Gears of War on Windows 10 is a game that could definitely use an uncapped render rate and VRR support.

Instead, what is likely occurring, as we saw with the second iteration of the Ashes of the Singularity benchmark, is that the game will have an uncapped render rate internally but that frames rendered OVER 60 FPS (or the refresh rate of the display) will not be shown. This will improve perceived latency as the game will be able to present the most up to date frame (with the most update to date input data) when the monitor is ready for a new refresh. 

UPDATE 5/10/16 @ 4:31pm: Microsoft just got back to me and said that my above statement wasn't correct. Screen tearing will be able to occur in UWP games on Windows 10 after they integrate support for today's patch. Interesting!!

For G-Sync and FreeSync users, the ability to draw to the screen at any range of render rates will offer an even further advantage of uncapped frame rates, no tearing but also, no "dropped" frames caused by running at off-ratios of a standard monitor's refresh rate.

I'm glad to see Microsoft taking these steps at a brisk pace after the feedback from the PC community early in the year. As for UWP's continued evolution, the blog post does tease that we should "expect to see some exciting developments on multiple GPUs in DirectX 12 in the near future."

Source: MSDN

ASUS Announces ROG STRIX X99 Gaming Motherboard for Intel Core i7 X-Series

Subject: Motherboards | May 10, 2016 - 02:45 PM |
Tagged: X99, ROG, Republic of Gamers, Intel, asus

ASUS Republic of Gamers has announced a new X99 motherboard for the upcoming Intel Core i7 X-series processors, and the ROG STRIX X99 Gaming packs a number of features into its ATX form-factor.

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"ROG Strix has taken on a brand-new look and the time has come to debut the first motherboard in the ROG Strix Series. ROG Strix X99 Gaming is a new ATX motherboard based on the Intel X99 chipset, retrofitted with exclusive technologies to maximize the potential of the new Intel Core i7 X-series processor for socket LGA 2011-v3. ROG Strix X99 Gaming delivers performance you'll notice, while the bold new design featuring customizable colors highlights the centerpiece of a system others will notice"

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There is certainly no shortage of features with this new gaming board, including the company's SupremeFX audio, Intel NIC, 2x2 dual-band Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO support, SATA Express, M.2, and U.2 storage support, Thunderbolt 3, and a reinforced PCI-E slot for heavier GPUs. But the feature that will be the hardest to miss with the STRIX X99 Gaming motherboard has to be the customizable RGB lighting.

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"ROG Strix X99 Gaming features the aesthetics for gamers looking to personalize an illuminate gaming rig. Ten LED effects can be customized using ASUS Aura, an intuitive lighting control software for the built-in RGB LEDs and attached RGB strips (via the integrated 4-pin RGB strip header like the ones you can find on the ROG Maximus VIII Formula and Hero Alpha), allowing easy custom illumination that can be perfectly synchronized across the system or even the whole gaming desk with additional RGB strips."

As is often the case with new product announcements, pricing and availabilty were not revealed.

Source: ASUS ROG

EKWB Releases AMD Radeon Pro Duo Full-Cover Water Block

Subject: Graphics Cards, Cases and Cooling | May 10, 2016 - 12:55 PM |
Tagged: water cooling, radeon pro duo, radeon, pro duo, liquid cooling, graphics cards, gpu cooler, gpu, EKWB, amd

While AMD's latest dual-GPU powerhouse comes with a rather beefy-looking liquid cooling system out of the box, the team at EK Water Blocks have nonetheless created their own full-cover block for the Pro Duo, which is now available in a pair of versions.

EKFC-Radeon-Pro-Duo_NP_fill_1600.jpg

"Radeon™ has done it again by creating the fastest gaming card in the world. Improving over the Radeon™ R9 295 X2, the Radeon Pro Duo card is faster and uses the 3rd generation GCN architecture featuring asynchronous shaders enables the latest DirectX™ 12 and Vulkan™ titles to deliver amazing 4K and VR gaming experiences. And now EK Water Blocks made sure, the owners can get the best possible liquid cooling solution for the card as well!"

EKFC-Radeon-Pro-Duo_pair.png

Nickel version (top), Acetal+Nickel version (bottom)

The blocks include a single-slot I/O bracket, which will allow the Pro Duo to fit in many more systems (and allow even more of them to be installed per motherboard!).

EKFC-Radeon-Pro-Duo_NP_input_1600-1500x999.jpg

"EK-FC Radeon Pro Duo water block features EK unique central inlet split-flow cooling engine with a micro fin design for best possible cooling performance of both GPU cores. The block design also allows flawless operation with reversed water flow without adversely affecting the cooling performance. Moreover, such design offers great hydraulic performance, allowing this product to be used in liquid cooling systems using weaker water pumps.

The base is made of nickel-plated electrolytic copper while the top is made of quality POM Acetal or acrylic (depending on the variant). Screw-in brass standoffs are pre-installed and allow for safe installation procedure."

Suggested pricing is set at 155.95€ for the blocks (approx. $177 US), and they are "readily available for purchase through EK Webshop and Partner Reseller Network".

Source: EKWB