A furious flurry of Fury X rumours

Subject: General Tech | June 12, 2015 - 01:14 PM |
Tagged: hbm, leak, fury x, amd, Fiji, radeon, 390x

The rumours are flying today, with some purportedly leaked performance results of AMD's upcoming Fiji XT based card, the Fury X.  The leak at Videocardz shows the results of 3DMark's Firestrike Ultra and Extreme for an AMD Radeon Graphics Processor in single card configuration and Crossfire results for Extreme only.  The results show a card that can keep up with the Titan X and by extension the new GTX 980 Ti as well.  At 1440p resolution, the Firestrike Extreme benchmark, the new AMD card seems to lag slightly behind NVIDIA in single and dual GPU configurations, but not by much while in the Ultra test at 4K the AMD GPU pulls ahead, likely thanks to the new HBM-1 memory.

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They also claim to have a source who has run the new GPU though the CompuBench suite which gives us more information about the general architecture.  The tests show a card with 64 Compute Units, which translates into 4096 Stream Cores if it is designed similarly to current Radeons.  The tests also confirm the 1050MHz core clock and more interestingly the 4GB of HBM-1 will be clocked at 500MHz memory clock with a 4096-bit bus, which is good news for those who like their resolutions as high as they can go.  Nothing is confirmed yet but these numbers bode well for the new Radeon architecture if they are true.

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(Image credit: VideoCardz.com)

Source: Videocardz

Juicy Friday rumour; a mysterious Blackberry device running Android?

Subject: General Tech | June 12, 2015 - 12:39 PM |
Tagged: Android, blackberry, google, rumour

Could this Reuters' story that Slashdot linked to possibly be correct?  A phone with a physical keyboard using Blackberry hardware with an Android OS?  The fact that you have been able to set up the Google Play store on BB10 devices for a while now is well known and lends credence to the rumour but it would represent a huge change for the long suffering smartphone company.  Blackberry opened up BBM to all phones, which did not generate much interest and the company has also announced that it will make some of its proprietary security feature available to iOS, Android and Windows phones which makes their devices a little less unique.  A slider style phone with a keyboard that is natively Android is interesting but just how likely is this to restore Blackberry as a player in this highly competitive market?

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"BlackBerry is considering equipping an upcoming smartphone with Google Inc.'s Android software for the first time, an acknowledgement that its revamped line of devices has failed to win mass appeal, according to four sources familiar with the matter."

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Source: Slashdot

Be Quiet! Silent Base 600 Coming In September

Subject: General Tech | June 12, 2015 - 01:49 AM |
Tagged: silent pc, mid-tower, computex 2015, computex, be quiet!, be quiet

Be Quiet unveiled the Silent Base 600 at Computex last week which is the company's second PC case. It is a smaller, quieter, and cheaper version of the existing Silent Base 800 while maintaining the same design and emphasis on noise reduction. Available in September, Be Quiet! is offering this mid tower case in both a side panel and windowed version at $99 and $115 respectively.

The Silent Base 600 is black with angled edges and a brushed metal front panel. It sits on four case feet that lift it up slightly to improve airflow. A panel on the front hides three 5.25" bays while the front IO sits along the top edge and two large vertical grilles act as front intakes. The side panel(s) have an adjustable height vent to increase or decrease airflow. A fan can be attached to the side panel (the window version of the case does not have vents) and users can adjust the intake around the edges of the vent to balance airflow and noise. Two Be Quiet! Pure Wings 2 fans come pre-installed (one 120mm in the rear and one 140mm front intake fan) and users can additionally install up to two 120/140mm fans up top, one 120mm side panel fan, one 140mm bottom mounted fan, and an extra 140mm front intake fan for a total of seven fans (or six if you opt for the windowed model). Be Quiet provides removable filters on all the intakes which is a nice touch.

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Check out Gamer's Nexus for more photos from be quiet!'s Computex booth!

Front I/O on the Silent Base 600 includes two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, two audio jacks, and an integrated fan controller. Be Quiet! continues to emphasis noise reduction with the inclusion of sound dampening material in the side panels, rubber mounts for the tool-less drives, and rubber mounts for the included fans to reduce vibration noise.

The Silent Base 600 will be available in black, silver, and orange colors. The color options get you accents around the front grilles and rubber cable management grommets in your chosen color among other color tweaks.

Internally, the Silent Base 600 has room for ATX motherboards, bottom mounted power supplies (290mm max), CPU coolers up to 170mm tall, and up to 400mm long graphics cards. Storage is handled by three 5.25", three 3.5", and two 2.5" drive bays. Other features include three rubber grommets to support external water cooling radiators, grommets in the motherboard tray to help with cable management, an optional fan controller to control an additional three fans, and seven PCI expansion slots should you be so inclined.

In all, it looks like a good base for an extremely quiet PC though I would have liked to see 360mm radiator support so that I could finally upgrade my case and move my radiator inside (heh). I'm looking forward to the reviews and seeing how well the noise reduction tweaks work.

Jimmy Thang (from Maximum PC) was able to check out the new case at Computex 2015 and you can watch their video with Chris from be quiet! on YouTube.

What do you think about Be Quiet!'s new mid tower case?

Ozone loves the lefties, check out the Neon and Boson

Subject: General Tech | June 11, 2015 - 03:03 PM |
Tagged: input, gaming mouse, mousepad, ozone, neon, boson

The Ozone Gaming Boson mousepad is not fancy, nor is it expensive at $10.  It easily rolls up for travel as it is very slim and flexible, or it could be hand for someone who doesn't want a fancy mousepad but would like to protect their desks.   The Neon mouse is the far more interesting part of the review at Techgage, as you can see in the picture it is perfectly symmetrical which makes it appropriate no matter which of your hands is dominant.  Considering the right handed bias in most gaming mice it is nice to see a product which works for anyone and at $50 it is quite affordable.   You can see how well it performs and get an idea of the software which allows you to customize your mouse in the full Techgage review.

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"Ozone Gaming might be an unknown player in the gaming peripheral market, but there’s no doubt it’s a solutions provider with ambition. Today we take a look at two of its products, the Boson mousepad and the Neon gaming mouse. Read on for our review on this Ozone Gaming tag team."

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Source: Techgage

Hold the phones there Hola, you are making a profit off of my bandwidth?

Subject: General Tech | June 11, 2015 - 01:18 PM |
Tagged: security, vpn, hola, fud

If you are using the free VPN service from Hola you really need to find a different solution.  Not only has it been plagued with security vulnerabilities, some of which they have addressed and some of which even they admit still exist, you will also unwittingly be providing exit nodes and bandwidth for anonymous surfers.  To add insult to injury, those users pay $20/GB to Hola for use of your bandwidth and you will never see a penny of that.  Hola's ILuminati service allows you to surf the net anonymously by directing their traffic over anyone using the free VPN, or as they refer to it an unblocking service, so not only is your bandwidth being used, you have no idea what traffic is actually exiting through your VPN. 

That is pretty much the exact opposite of a private network and depending on what is being done and how well the traffic is monitored you could well find yourself embroiled in an investigation you had no idea you were opening yourself up to.  Check out  more on this story at The Register.

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"Embattled "free" VPN provider Hola is facing criticism over its practice of turning its users into exit nodes in a paid-for anonymisation service which can easily be used for nefarious activities. Hola's software is also claimed to include "unpatchable" vulnerabilities allowing takeover of user machines."

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Source: The Register

Podcast #353 - Seiki Pro 4k Display, More News from Computex, and more!

Subject: General Tech | June 11, 2015 - 12:15 PM |
Tagged: Z97-Pro Gamer, video, valve, tonga, Steam Controller, Seiki Pro, seiki, r9 390x, podcast, MasterCase, hawaii, Fiji, coolermaster, computex, amd, 4k

PC Perspective Podcast #353 - 06/11/2015

Join us this week as we discuss the Seiki Pro 4k Display, More News from Computex, 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!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
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  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

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

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

Logitech Announces the G29 and G920 Racing Wheels

Subject: General Tech | June 11, 2015 - 04:00 AM |
Tagged: stainless steel, racing wheel, racing pedals, racing h-gear shifter, logitech, leather, G920, G29, G27, force feedback, aluminum

PC peripherals are a fickle market for companies.  Some products get replaced and updated in a very short period of time, while others remain relatively stable and the product line lasts for years.  Logitech has laid claim to one of the longest serving products in the peripheral field with the G27 racing wheel.  This product has proven to be a popular accessory for those wishing to race on a variety of platforms with a clutch, stick shift, and a force feedback wheel.  For the time it was a rather expensive part that reached the $400 mark at introduction, but has eased down to the mid-$250US range.  Five years is a long time for such a product, but the overall design and quality of the G27 has insured its place as one of the better buys of this decade.

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The G29 has a unique layout of buttons, d-pad, and a 35 position rotary knob.

Time passes and all things must change.  The G27 has lost some of its luster as compared to some of the latest products from Thrustmaster and Fanatec.  We are now in the midst of a resurgence of racing titles from a variety of sources, some of which are emerging from relatively unknown developers and veteran studios alike.  Assetto Corsa, Project Cars, DiRT Rally, and F1 2015 plus a variety of paid and F2P titles are vying for racer’s attention in this very verdant environment of software titles.  We must also not forget the new marketplace opened up by the PS4 and Xbox One.  Logitech, in their quest to gain the hearts and loyalties of gamers has renewed their push into this marketplace with a variety of Gaming products.  Today we get our first look at the two latest entries from Logitech into the racing wheel world.

Today Logitech is announcing their latest two editions to the high end racing accessory market.  The G29 has been leaked and covered, but the G920 is a new revelation to the world.  The G29 is aimed at the PS3 and PS4 market and will be available for purchase in early July of this year.  The G920 is the Xbox One and PC model that will be released this Fall.  The models differ with their button layout, but they are both based on a lot of the same technology that powers the force feedback experience in modern racing games.

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The pedals are not as colorful as the G27 (it had red accents), but it looks nearly identical to the older part.  Stainless steel pedals plus a clutch.

The base unit features a dual motor design with helical gears rather than belt driven.  The helical gears should result in less backlash as compared to a belt design which can stretch and distort the feeling of the wheel.  The shaft of the wheel features solid stainless steel bearings so that wear and tear should be kept to a minimum.  The shifters and pedals are also made of stainless steel so that these high-wear parts will work for years without issue.

The wheel itself is made of hand-stitched leather over a plastic and aluminum framing.  The wheel also features a LED light rev indicator that reports to users when to shift at redline.  The clamping system allows the wheel to be used on desks as well as driving stations through either a clamp or bolts.  The three pedal stand is of a decent weight and of course features a clutch pedal that many competing products do not have.

g920_wheel.jpg

The G920 is a bit more minimalist in terms of button layout.  This wheel does not feature the rev/shift LEDs that the G29 has, and this is due to how the consoles address hardware.  Apparently it is just not feasible for the XBox One to do this.

The G29 and G920 differ in their button layout, but both feature the three pedal set and paddle shift setup.  As compared to competing products from Thrustmaster and Fanatec at this price point, there is no ability to swap out wheels with the base unit.  For example both Thrustmaster and Fanatec offer a variety of wheels that can be interchanged with the hub with the gearing and force feedback hardware.  Both of those companies have a great amount of flexibility with accessories that can be swapped in and out.  This of course comes with a significant price.  The competing Thrustmaster set has F1 and other wheels that cost anywhere from $150 to $250, while Fanatec will allow a user to customize their setup for the low, low price of $1,000US plus.

The G29 and G920 include the wheel and three pedal setup as stock at $399.99.  If a user wants to include a 6-speed manual shifter, then it will cost an extra $59.99US.  That particular product is configured as an H pattern shifter, but it is not included in the base package for the G29 or G920.

g920_pedal.jpg

The G920 pedals are essentially identical to the G29 unit.

It is great to see the G29 available in an early July timeframe, but it is slightly disappointing that the G920 will not hit the market until this Fall.  As a die-hard PC gamer it will be a few months before I can get hands on the G920 and put it through its paces.  The racing wheel market is not overly large as most users rely on gamepads, joysticks, and keyboards for their racing needs.  As such, we do not see refreshes on a regular basis as compared to keyboards, mice, and other devices.  It is great to see Logitech addressing this market with new products that bring new features.

Edit: According to the Logitech website, the G29 CAN be used with a PC as long as the users has the Logitech Gaming software installed.

Source: Logitech

Microsoft Releases Windows 10 Build 10130 ISOs

Subject: General Tech | June 11, 2015 - 12:53 AM |
Tagged: windows update, windows 10, microsoft, ISO

Microsoft pushed out the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10130 to Fast Ring users late last month, and now the company is releasing downloadable ISOs for the build. Microsoft is not yet ready to make this build available to Slow Ring users, but the company is making a special exception in releasing ISO files of the build (Microsoft usually only makes ISOs available after the build has been pushed to the Slow Ring). Specifically, the ISOs are being posted online in response to certain Fast Ring users getting a 0x80246017 error and not being able to upgrade using Windows Update.

Windows 10 with Start Menu Build 10074.jpg

Build 10130 will eventually come to the Slow Ring, but the company is still working on fixing several bugs including taskbar flyouts not working properly. For now we will have to wait.

However, if you are on the Fast Ring and are unable to use Windows Update, you can download the appropriate ISO for your language and system (32-bit or 64-bit), mount it, and apply the update by running the installer.

Download the Windows 10 Build 10130 ISO from the Windows Insider website.

Source: Microsoft

A week or so as a Witcher

Subject: General Tech | June 10, 2015 - 03:44 PM |
Tagged: gaming, The Witcher 3, CD Projekt RED

Techgage has spent a while in the open world of The Witcher 3 and are ready to share their experiences.  The open world is very open, you will find yourself wandering into areas you are not ready for without warning and at 50 hours in the reviewer is still seeing the occasional tutorial pop-up so they are nowhere near finishing.  You may find yourself abandoning a quest to do other side quests in order to become powerful enough to survive the encounter with the boss at the end of the quest you originally intended to do.  That is the heart and soul of a truly open game, which CD Projekt RED seem to have mastered.  Check out their review right here.

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"This land is deep in darkness, words do little to describe the hell that has befallen. War, pillaging, oppression, greed, politics and scandals. We are beyond the petty battles of good and evil, for all have monsters living within. With the stench of deceit in the air, what this world needs, is a Witcher."

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Source: Techgage

Now that's a Surface you can get excited about

Subject: General Tech | June 10, 2015 - 02:32 PM |
Tagged: surface hub, microsoft

The Microsoft Surface that we were promised ages ago is finally being released in the form of the Surface Hub.  Two models will be available for pre-order at the start of July, a $7000 55" model and a $20,000 84" version with a delivery date in September.  The screens can recognize up to 100 touchpoints and are also designed with a stylus in mind so you can use it as a whiteboard or to add comments to your media in real time.  The device sports infrared, imaging and depth sensors which can be used to add to your meetings.  The smaller model is powered by Intel's HD4600 while the larger model contains an NVIDIA Quadro K2200.  Check it out at The Inquirer.

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"MICROSOFT HAS ANNOUNCED that an 84in Surface device will go on sale next month at the bargain price of $20,000. Microsoft announced the Surface Hub 55in and 84in touchscreen all-in-one devices in January, and said today that they will be available to order from 1 July."

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Source: The Inquirer