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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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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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."

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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.

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."

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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."

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Source: The Inquirer

Another reason not to use UEFI Secure Boot

Subject: General Tech | May 9, 2016 - 05:38 PM |
Tagged: KB3133977, microsoft, asus, uefi, Secure Boot

There are many good reasons to use the new UEFI Secure Boot under Windows 10 but there are also numerous reasons not to.  The latest is an issue with a specific Windows Update patch which was recently changed from an optional update to a recommended update.  For systems using an ASUS motherboard and running Windows 7 this can be a bit of a bother as your Secure Boot will report that the OS has unauthorized changes and will refuse to boot.  If you can get at your UEFI BIOS you can change the OS Type from Windows UEFI mode to Other OS in the boot menu.  If this does not resolve your issue The Register has been told you should contact ASUS for support, as opposed to Microsoft since the issues root cause lies in a feature similar to Secure boot which ASUS added to their boards.

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"Windows 7 machines that have installed Microsoft's KB3133977 update may trigger a "secure boot violation" during startup, preventing the PC from loading the operating system, Asus said."

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Source: The Register