All | Editorial | General Tech | Graphics Cards | Networking | Motherboards | Cases and Cooling | Processors | Chipsets | Memory | Displays | Systems | Storage | Mobile | Shows and Expos
Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2015 - 04:08 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ea, free to play, battlefield
Battlefield Heroes, Battlefield Play4Free, Need for Speed World, and FIFA World are set to disappear in three months. According to the site for one of these games, Battlefield Heroes, that corresponds to Tuesday, July 14th, 2015. The other three might be plus or minus a little bit, but it sounds like it will be a simultaneous shutdown. Refunds will not be provided, even if you have premium credit remaining unspent on your account. I guess that means that you should burn whatever you have left over while the servers are still running; EA will not accept new accounts or payments though.
The announcement, made by Executive Vice President of EA Studios, Patrick Söderlund, assures players that other EA free-to-play titles are growing in player base and content. He uses Star Wars: The Old Republic as an example, which will receive updates over the year, including ones that build on its narrative.
But this is one of the problems with “free-to-play” and other genres with an authoritative online component: timed life. These titles are not going to be critiqued and celebrated in University courses over the upcoming decades and centuries. It is a difficult balance. On the one hand, it is interesting to create a universe that evolves and possibly mutates based on player interaction. Those experiences disappear though (and so does the money you tie into it). That doesn't mean “don't play them” -- just be aware what you're investing your time, money, and self-expression into.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 16, 2015 - 02:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Silverstone, SFF, Argon Series, AR05
In March Morry looked at the Silverstone Argon AR01, an inexpensive cooler for moderately powerful CPUs. [H]ard|OCP has just wrapped up a review of the AR05 which resembles that cooler, rotated 90 degrees to fit in extremely small cases. It is 104x92x36.7mm, yes 36.7mm tall, with a 92mm fan for cooling. As you should expect a cooler this small is not the most powerful cooler available but from [H]'s testing you can see that it is a significant improvement over the stock fan. If you are looking to cool a SFF system then this is a review you need to read.
"Trying to fit a lot of air cooling into a smaller footprint computer case can certainly be an obstacle in your build process. With mini-ITX and micro-ATX systems gaining popularity, and chassis footprints shrinking, huge tower coolers are not an option. How well does SilverStone's AR-05 cooler perform with its minuscule 37mm height profile?"
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Raijintek Triton CPU Water Cooler @ Benchmark Reviews
- Cooler Master Nepton 240M AIO Liquid Cooler Review @ Neoseeker
- Fractal Design Define R5 tower @ HardwareOverclock
- In-Win 904 Plus Chassis @ Kitguru
- AeroCool GT-A Chassis @ Kitguru
- Lian-Li DK-01 Aluminium Desk Chassis @ eTeknix
- Thermaltake Core X9 Review @ OCC
Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2015 - 02:36 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: x99-soc, video, Skylake, Samsung, podcast, nvidia, msi, motorola, Moto E, Intel, GTAV, gs30, gigabyte, Broadwell, amd, 840 evo
PC Perspective Podcast #345 - 04/16/2015
Join us this week as we discuss the MSI GS30 Shadow, Gigabyte X99-SOC, Skylake Leaks 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: Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano, and Sebastian Peak
Program length: 1:20:07
Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2015 - 01:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, maxwell, Nouveau, open source
The initial benchmarks that Phoronix and other Linux tech sites ran on the new Maxwell cards from NVIDIA were using the proprietary binary drivers, the same as with all AMD cards. Unlike AMD who have always released signed binary-only firmware blobs which could not be reverse engineered and modified for use, previous generations of NVIDIA cards did not require signed firmware images, only a lot of dev work. Maxwell is locked down and the current open sourced Nouveau driver can now only be used to set up display outputs, it has no ability to use the card for hardware accelerated graphics.
NVIDIA states that the new requirement is to prevent shady characters from modifying slower cards to look like new Maxwell GPUs but Phoronix feels that they have gone overboard. It is sad to see NVIDIA taking a step backwards in supporting the open source community, mimicking AMD's procedure of only offering binary-only firmware blobs though AMD is at least updating the blobs and open source driver relatively frequently. That said, the new Maxwell cards do perform very well with the proprietary Linux driver so users should not feel they have to avoid NVIDA; unfortunately for developers the same is not true.
"While NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 900 series is dominating for Linux gamers with excellent performance with their $1000+ GPU as well as great Linux OpenGL/OpenCL performance out of their lower-cost GPUs with excellent power efficiency, that's only when using the proprietary driver... NVIDIA's newer GTX 900 / Maxwell hardware is less open-source friendly than their previous generations of hardware. "
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- iFixit: Apple's 12in MacBook is near impossible to repair @ The Inquirer
- Talk is FINNISHed: Nokia to buy Alcatel Lucent for €15.6 billion @ The Register
- Businesses are not using apps from the Windows Store @ The Inquirer
- Calling Out a GAO Report That Says In-Flight Wi-Fi Lets Hackers Access Avionics @ Slashdot
- Kwikset SmartCode 916 Electronic Deadbolt @ Benchmark Reviews
- Win an MSI GS60 Ghost Pro laptop @ KitGuru
Subject: Displays | April 16, 2015 - 10:26 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: 3440x1440, XR341CKA, ultra-widescreen, gaming monitor, g-sync, acer, 21:9, ips
Acer's upcoming ultra-widescreen 34-inch G-SYNC gaming monitor, the XR341CKA, will have multiple inputs according to a report published by TFT Central, which indicates possible changes to the G-SYNC V2 module as previous displays only provided one input.
The Acer XR341CKA (Credit: TFT Central)
The Acer XR341CKA is a variant of the XR341CK, a FreeSync monitor that contains an identical panel. The IPS panel in both monitors is rated up to 75Hz refresh with a resolution of 3440x1440, and a contrast ratio of 1000:1 with 8-bit + FRC (effective 10-bit) color depth. The big story here is of course the G-SYNC module, and though we don't know the specific implementation yet is will be interesting to see what the input support of version 2 G-SYNC displays will be. According to TFT Central the FreeSync (CK) variant of the XR341 offers "HDMI 2.0 (MHL), DisplayPort, Mini DP and DP out connections," and "it will support daisy chaining via the DP out port and also PiP and PbP functions".
The original G-SYNC module (Credit: NVIDIA)
In contrast the G-SYNC variant (CKA) of the XR341 offers "DisplayPort, but also an additional HDMI 1.4 video connection...(and) will also support ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur)." TFT Central points out that this detail "would mark the first G-sync screen we've seen with more than one connection, so we will be interested to see how this works." If indeed this is a single module solution it is possible that NVIDIA has made changes with the second-gen G-SYNC module to allow for more than one input. We will have to wait and see, unless more details about this V2 module are forthcoming.
Subject: General Tech, Storage | April 16, 2015 - 06:47 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: uefi, SSD 750, PCI-E 3.0, NVMe, Intel, ACHI, 750 series
UPDATE: ASUS has pointed us towards a poll they are running to gauge what platforms people are most anxious for NVMe Boot support on. So if you have an ASUS board and are interested in buying an Intel SSD 750 Series, head to their poll to voice your opinion!
Last week, the Intel 750 Series SSD was unveiled the the public as the first consumer SSD to feature the NVMe or Non-Volatile Memory Express interface. NVMe was designed from the ground up for flash storage, and provides significant advantages in latency and potential top transfer rates over the aging AHCI standard. Check out our review of the Intel SSD 750 Series to find out why this is such an important step forward for storage technology.
Even if you aren't necessarily concerned about the merits of a new storage interface, the throughput numbers from the 750 series are hard to ignore. With peak speeds over 2.5GB/s read and 1.5GB/s write, it's hard not to be interested in this new drive.
However, all this new speed doesn't come without a few complications. NVMe is an all-new standard which means it might not be supported on all platforms. Intel themselves only point to official support for Z97 and X99 chipsets. In order to get a better idea of the landscape of NVMe compatibility, I took it amongst myself to start testing the add-in card version of the 750 Series in just about every modern motherboard I could get my hands on at the office.
Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2015 - 12:04 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: take-two, layoffs, 2k games, 2k australia
UPDATE (April 16th, 4:12pm EDT): Within an hour of publishing, IGN received a statement from 2K Games confirming the studio closure. Thanks to Penterax in the comments for the tip.
According to a tip sent to Kotaku Australia, and currently no other source, 2K Australia has been closed down. The studio is most recently known for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, but they have also contributed to all three BioShock titles and, when they were a formal division of Irrational Games, worked on SWAT 4 and Tribes: Vengeance. And yes, it is very tempting to call it “Police Quest: SWAT 4”.
At the time of writing, we are still waiting on an official statement from 2K Australia or its parent companies, 2K Games and Take-Two Interactive. The source claims that all staff members will lose their jobs and the entire studio will be closed. There are also not too many alternatives in the continent. EA has a subsidiary that develops mobile titles, Firemonkeys Studios, which has about 60 employees. They are about 400 miles away from where 2K Australia was though. A Google Doc is being maintained with many prospects, although about half of the openings are in North America and New Zealand.
Subject: Processors | April 15, 2015 - 10:04 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Intel, Skylake, skylake-s, lga1151, 100 series
Some slides have leaked out with information about Intel's forthcoming 6th Generation Core processor, code named Skylake. We have known that Skylake was coming, and coming this year, but there have been a lot of questions about enthusiast parts and what that means for DIY builders. The slides were first seen over at WCCFTech.com and show some interesting new information.
Dubbed Skylake-S, the LGA (socketed) processor will use a new derivative with 1151 pins as well as a new set of chipsets, the Intel 100-series. Skylake is built on the same 14nm process technology used with Broadwell but will feature a new microarchitecture for both the IA cores and the graphics systems. Obviously you can read the slide yourself above, but some of the highlights are worth touching on individually. Skylake will support both DDR3L and DDR4 memory systems with the enthusiast grade parts likely the only ones to attempt to push the newer, faster DDR4 speeds.
Enthusiasts will also be glad to know that there are planned 95 watt quad-core SKUs that will support unlocked features and overclocking capability. Intel lists an "enhanced" BCLK overclocking with the term "full range" which likely means there will no longer be a need for straps to 125 MHz, etc. A 95 watt TDP is higher than the 88 watt limit we saw on Haswell processors so there is a chance we might actually witness usable performance gains if Intel can get the clock speeds up and above where they sit today with current generation parts.
The use of DMI 3.0, the connection between the processor and the chipset, sees the first increase in bandwidth in many generations. Rated at 8 GT/s, twice that of the DMI 2.0 interface used on Haswell, should allow for fewer bottlenecks on storage and external PCIe connections coming from the chipset.
The new Intel 100-series chipsets will come in three variants at launch: the Z170, the H170 and the H110. The one we are most concerned with is the Z170 of course as it will be paired wit the higher end 65 watt and 95 watt enthusiast processors. Based on these specs, Skylake will continue to operate with only 16 lanes of PCI Express 3.0 capable of running at 1 x16, 2 x8 or 1 x8 and 2 x4 connections. With either DDR3L or DDR4 you will have a dual-channel memory system.
For storage, the Z170 still has six SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports, moves to 14 USB ports maximum with 10 of them capable of USB 3.0 speeds and it upgrades Intel RST to support PCIe storage drivers. Of note here is that the Intel chipset does not include USB 3.1 capability so motherboard vendors will continue to need an external controller to integrate it. Without a doubt the 100-series chipsets will be able to support booting and compatibility with the new Intel 750-series PCIe SSDs, the current king of the hill.
As for timing, the roadmap lists the Z170 chipset and the Skylake-S processor as a Q3 2015 release. I would normally expect that to line up with Computex in early June but that doesn't appear to be the case based on other information I am getting.
Subject: General Tech | April 15, 2015 - 05:42 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows 10, build 10041, build 10049, microsoft, trillian, cerulean studios
Since the release of Windows 10 Build 10041, Trillian, the instant messenger client, suffered some issues regarding window sizing (along with Firefox, Chrome, and a few other applications). Basically, the window would progressively shrink every time you type and the resize controls would hang about five pixels outside the window edge. Some windows would also “be open” but cannot be unminimized, requiring you to close them in the task bar and reopen them by double-clicking on the contact.
Cerulean Studios has just released Trillian 5.6 Beta, along with its associated release notes, which seem to address both of these issues. I say seem because the latter issue (chat windows staying minimized forever) was intermittent, so I can't tell whether my testing is simply luck. That said, I tried to make it happen and I couldn't. Either way, the chat window shrinking bug was vastly more annoying.
Before this update, Trillian was just about useless on Windows 10. The only way to get it somewhat function was to maximize the window to a full monitor. Even snapping it to the left side of the screen would not prevent it from slowly shrinking itself.
I hope this news helps some of our readers as much as it helps me!
Subject: Motherboards | April 15, 2015 - 03:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: z97, SFF, gigabyte, GA-Z97MX-Gaming 5
You could argue that the Z97 chipset is not the freshest but for serious gamers that are on a budget and for whom space is at a premium the $130 Gigabyte GA-Z97MX-GAMING 5 is a smart choice. Four memory slots which support up to DDR3-3100, four PCI-e slots, an M.2 PCIe slot and even a SATA Express port mean you can support newer technology without breaking the bank, especially if you plan incremental upgrades. It also has onboard Realtek ALC1150 7.1 surround sound with support for the Creative X-Fi MB3 and a swapable TI Burr Brown OPA2134 OP-AMP along with S/PDIF out also make this a good board for a fledgling sound artist. Check out the full review at Modders Inc; you don't have to be big nor expensive to provide a long list of features.
"Long are the days of the SUPER TOWER chassis being the king of the gamers den, in the past few years the SFF (Small Form Factor) has taken over the market. This is not only due to the compact size of mATX and ITX but that both form factors are continuing to squeeze performance into every bit of their tiny …"
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASRock Fatal1ty X99X Killer, The Thriller With The Killer @ Bjorn3d
- Gigabyte Z97X-SLI Motherboard Review @ OCIA
- ASUS X99-A Motherboard Review @HiTech Legion
- ASUS X99-A @ eTeknix
- MSI 970 GAMING AMD AM3+ Motherboard Review @ Hardware Canucks
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 15, 2015 - 02:01 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: mid-tower, In Win 503, in win, enclosure, case
In Win has announced an affordable new mid-tower option with the 503, and there is no shortage of the company's trademark style even at this low price point.
A steel enclosure is to be expected for the $49.99 asking price, and though the company is known for its aluminum construction there is enough tempered glass to keep In Win fans happy. In fact, not only is the front of the In Win 503 made from glass, but it slides down to reveal a 5.25" optical drive bay. To say this is unexpected in a $50 case is a severe understatement.
In Win has posted a short product video which touches on the basic features of the 503:
Drive bays are toolless, and there seems to be a lot of room inside the case. The enclosure will be available in both black/red and white/black color schemes. I personally can't wait to get my hands on one of these and see if it lives up to the lofty standards of prior In Win cases, or if more was compromised than just material selection to meet the low price target.
Subject: General Tech | April 15, 2015 - 01:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, The Witcher 3, CD Projekt RED
Every trailer of the Witcher 3 so far has made the game look larger and more complex and the latest trailer continues along that vein. Some scenes will be familiar, such as a certain griffin's head but others are completely new, especially the in town scenes. The voiceover implies a much greater breadth of choice in how you play the story than the binary elves or humans choice of Witcher 2 but we have been disappointed by other franchises in the past. Hopefully this game will not disappoint, it has a very devoted team who are not afraid to include uncomfortable choices or nasty dialogue in the world they have created. It will also be interesting to see how the size of the open world translates into interesting gameplay, especially once you have cleared an area and civilians move in to settle it. Check out the trailer below and catch additional coverage at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN ... and maybe even here, you never know.
"Hi, you. That’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Watch this new trailer, it’ll explain. This shiny new five-minute trailer’s a broad overview of the game, its basic premise, the lay of its land, a few japes, and the sort of larks you’ll get up to."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Is Deus Ex Still The Best Game Ever? Part One: Memories And Hardware Renderers @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Bundle Me Up: GOG Sale Starts With RPGs & Adventures @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Grand Theft Auto V Performance Analysis @ techPowerUp
- Humble Origin Bundle 2 launched @ HEXUS
- Hands On: StarCraft II – Legacy Of The Void @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Bang: Arma 3 Fires Big Update Alongside Marksmen DLC @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | April 15, 2015 - 12:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: drone, linux, 3DRobotics, Cortex A9, solo
The 3DR Solo drone is powered by a Cortex A9 processor running at 1GHz which gives the Pixhawk 2 autopilot feature some power to work with, a good thing as some pilots will be too busy watching the HD video stream. If you buy the model with the GoPro gimbal or knock one up yourself, the Solo is capable of wireless streaming 720p video up to a distance of 1.2 miles (1.9km) with a delay of about 180ms. You will have a flight time of 25 minutes unladen, 20 minutes if you are hauling a GoPro or any other equivalent payload. It will not be cheap, it is being released on May 29th at a price of $1000 or $1400 with a GoPro gimbal, but you can check out more of the stats at Linux.com if you are still interested.
"3DRobotics today announced its first Linux-based drone, a Solo quadcopter touted as the first Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to support full control of GoPro cameras and deliver live-streaming HD video to mobile devices."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Huawei Ascend P8 arrives with full-metal case and octa-core chip @ The Inquirer
- Chrome version 42 will pour your Java coffee down the drain: Plugin blocked by default @ The Register
- Microsoft points at Skype, Lync: You two, in my office – right now @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | April 14, 2015 - 08:28 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: logitech g, logitech, gaming keyboard, gaming, battlefield hardline
Logitech has created an SDK to bring a new concept to PC gaming: in-game illumination integration with G series gaming peripherals. Logitech is calling this "Intelligent Illumination", and they have created a video to show off the new tech from their work with EA on Battlefield Hardline.
Switching sides in the game alternates the keyboard color, and the lights blink when taking damage. It's certainly a novel concept, and in this instance adds additional user feedback by taking advantage of the RGB color capabilities of a modern gaming keyboard (this is the G910 Orion Spark). The possibilities seem endless, but a simple idea like context-specific keyboard mapping through custom illumination would make the controls for some games much easier to learn.
Subject: General Tech | April 14, 2015 - 08:08 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: mozilla, http, https, firefox
On the Mozilla Dev-Platform Newsgroup, hosted at Google Groups, a proposal to deprecate insecure HTTP is being discussed. The idea is that HTTPS needs to be adopted and organizations will not do it without being pushed. The plan is to get browser vendors to refuse activating new features, and eventually disable old features, unless the site is loaded as a “privileged context”.
This has sparked a debate, which was the whole point of course, about how secure do we want the Web to be. What features should we retroactively disable unless it is done through HTTPS? Things that access your webcam and microphone? Things that write to your hard drive? Then there is the question of how to handle self-signed certificates to get encryption without verification, and so forth.
Note: Websites cannot access or create files on your hard drive, but standards like localStorage and IndexedDB allow websites to have their own spaces for persistence. This is to allow, for instance, a 3D game to cache textures (and so forth) so you don't need to download them every time.
Personally, this concerns me greatly. I started helping Mozilla a couple of years ago, a few weeks after I saw Microsoft's Windows 8 developer certification program. I do not like the thought of someone being able to stifle creation and expression, and the web was looking like it might be the last bastion of unrestricted development for the general public.
In the original Windows Store requirements, no browser could exist unless it was a skin of Trident. This meant that, if a site didn't work in Internet Explorer, it didn't exist. If you didn't want to play by their rules? Your app didn't get signed and your developer certificate could even be revoked by Microsoft, or someone with authority over them. You could imagine the problems a LGBT-focused developer might have in certain countries, even if Microsoft likes their creations.
This is obviously not as bad as that. In the Windows Store case, there was one authority whereas HTTPS can be authenticated by numerous providers. Also, if self-signed certificates are deemed “secure enough”, it would likely avoid the problem. You would not need to ask one of a list of authorities permission to exist; you could secure the connection yourself. Of course, that is a barrier of skill for many, and that is its own concern.
So we'll see, but I hope that Mozilla will take these concerns as a top priority in their decisions.
Subject: Mobile | April 14, 2015 - 03:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Samsung, galaxy s6, Android 5.0
Samsung's new Galaxy S6 is unique in that it has metal sides and Gorilla Glass on both the back and front of the phone. The body is 143x71x6.8mm and it weighs a total of 138g, compared the the iPhone 6 at 138x67x6.9mm and 129g. The screen is 2560x1440, a density of 577PPI which compares favourably to the iPhone's 1334x750 at 326 PPI. The Inquirer was impressed by the quality of the screen as well as the colour calibration that they felt was significantly better than on the S5. As far as performance, the phone was tested by playing three hours of XCOM and it did so without stuttering or becoming uncomfortably warm. They tested the non-removable battery by looping a video, which the phone could manage for just over eight hours, slightly better than the competition though they lose the benefit of battery swapping thanks to the new design. Check out the images taken with the new camera and answers to other specific questions in their full review.
"Aware of customers' and reviewers' complaints, Samsung made a sweep of reforms in its smartphone division and "went back to the drawing board" with the 2015 Galaxy S6."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Asus ZenFone 5 LTE @ Kitguru
- Blackview Omega Smartphone Review @ Madshrimps
- Adam Elements Bella Power 6000mAh Portable Power Bank Review @ NikKTech
- XMG A505 Gaming Laptop @ HardwareHeaven
- Razer Blade Pro @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | April 14, 2015 - 01:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, benchmarking, synthetic
[H]ard|OCP will be resuming their benchmarking of SSDs in the near future and wanted to introduce both their new contributor and his thoughts on benchmarking SSDs. These drives offer several challenges when comparing performance that are not present when benchmarking spinning rust. For instance some controllers use compression to increase IOPS whenever possible but slow down when incompressible data is passed through the drive, providing a challenge to properly show performance comparisons to similar drives with difference or no compression whatsoever. Read through the article to see which synthetic benchmarks will remain as well as Chris' thoughts on new tests to accurately contrast the performance of SSDs.
"Many of our readers embrace our "real world" approach with hardware reviews. We have not published an SSD review for almost 2 years while we have been looking to revamp our SSD evaluation program. Today we wanted to give you some insight as to how we learned to stop worrying and love the real world SSD benchmark."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ Vector 180 480GB SSD @ eTeknix
- Crucial MX200 250GB SSD @ Hardware Canucks
- Kingston HyperX Predator M.2 PCIe SSDs in RAID 0 @ The SSD Review
- Intel SSD 750 Series 1.2TB @ Legion Hardware
- 8 Facts You Never Knew About Western Digital's Hardware Encryption @ Tech ARP
- Western Digital My Passport Ultra Metal / Anniversary Edition (2 TB) @ Tech ARP
- QNAP TS-431+ @ Legion Hardware
- RaidSonic ICY BOX IB-RD3680SU3 External RAID Enclosure Review @ NikKTech
- QNAP TVS-863+ AMD Turbo vNAS Review @ Madshrimps
Subject: General Tech | April 14, 2015 - 01:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: usb type-c, usb 3.1, dell, asus
DigiTimes has seen evidence that non-Apple fanatics will have a chance to get their hands on USB 3.1 Type C connectors in the near future. Dell will be releasing a Windows 10 powered, 11" LCD Venue 11 Pro in the fall which will sport Type-C connectors for the new USB standard. ASUS will also be releasing gaming laptops with Type-C connectors this year as well although we do not have a specific date nor do we know when they will be included on less expensive models. If you are wondering when we will start to see USB 3.1 devices on the market you can check the list that ASUS provided The Tech Report here.
"After Apple's adoption of the USB Type-C port on its 12-inch MacBook, Dell also recently announced to use the technology for its 11-inch tablet and Asustek Computer is planning to launch gaming notebooks with USB Type-C support in the second half at the earliest, according to a Chinese-language Apply Daily report."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Tweaking Ubuntu Unity to Better Suit Your Needs @ Linux.com
- HGST says its NVMe flash card will manage 750,000 IOPS @ The Register
- Scaling down InAs nanowire field-effect transistors for improved efficiency @ Nanotechweb
- Intel: Moore's Law will be more relevant in the next 20 years than the past 50 @ The Inquirer
- Unpatched 18 year-old Windows man-in-the-middle diddle revived @ The Register
- Sinister lobby group (AT&T, Verizon among membership) sues FCC to kill net neut @ The Register
- The TR Podcast 174: PCIe SSDs and FreeSync displays
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 14, 2015 - 01:27 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, amd, GTA5
Grand Theft Auto V launched today at around midnight GMT worldwide. This corresponded to 7PM EDT for those of us in North America. Well, add a little time for Steam to unlock the title and a bit longer for Rockstar to get enough servers online. One thing you did not need to wait for was new video card drivers. Both AMD and NVIDIA have day-one drivers that provide support.
You can get the NVIDIA drivers at their landing page
You can get the AMD drivers at their release notes
Personally, I ran the game for about a half hour on Windows 10 (Build 10049) with a GeForce GTX 670. Since these drivers are not for the pre-release operating system, I tried running it on 349.90 to see how it performed before upgrading. Surprisingly, it seems to be okay (apart from a tree that was flickering in and out of existence during a cut-scene). I would definitely update my drivers if they were available and supported, but I'm glad that it seems to be playable even on Windows 10.
Subject: Networking | April 13, 2015 - 03:52 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: asus, router, 802.11ac, rt-a66r, rt-a66u
Until recently, we have been using a Linksys WRT54G. No, not the WRT54GL. We have been using the cheap, $30 v8.0 unit with 8MB of RAM. Since it has been eight years since its manufacturing date, and about the same length of time since it received a firmware upgrade, we decided to upgrade to a newer model. After searching for a while, we settled on the ASUS RT-AC66. We bought it from a retail store, because it was the same price and I could get it the same day without paying for shipping, so our model has an “R” suffix, rather than the direct-from-ASUS “U”. The units are identical besides the model name though.
We are using the stock ASUS firmware.
So what has happened in the last half-dozen years? First, this device has quite a few more features than the Linksys, although not many are applicable to me personally. The most interesting to me is that ASUS offers a dynamic DNS service for their routers. It seems pretty straight-forward honestly. I was looking for a place to register, but it seems like it was just a matter of inputting the desired URL into the router, and ASUS will give it to you if it is available. I was able to use the subdomain within a few minutes too, although I did not try doing much with it.
Its 2.4 GHz range is pretty good too, much wider than the WRT54G. The 5.0 GHz makes it from the basement to the TV on the main floor. It reports less than full signal, but I have nothing to compare that with (neither a second 5.0 GHz device nor another 5.0GHz router). The antenna are detachable and higher sensitive versions are available, which is probably good for edge cases, although the default ones seem to work fine for me.
It definitely seems like a good router. I don't feel it getting in-between me and my internet connection. This is not a review though, just my impressions after using it for a bit.