That's no moon! Stellaris adds planet killers plus the chance to mine the corpse of your enemies home

Subject: General Tech | January 17, 2018 - 02:44 PM |
Tagged: gaming, stellaris, paradox

In the not too distant future new DLC will arrive for Stellaris, likely in conjunction with the new free patch that Paradox will be releasing as that is their style.  The new DLC will include two new ship classes, Titans, which outweigh battleships and come with specific weaponry only available to that class of ship as well as the colossus.  A colossus is only marginally a fleet ship, it does not have much in the way of hull or conventional armament but is specifically designed to go after planets while your fleet protects them.  There are several different weapons you can install, from the aforementioned planet cracker to a shield generator which forever seals a planet off from the universe to a God Ray you can use on your own planets to increase spiritualist ethics attraction.

As well, the free 'Cherryh' patch will make some huge changes to the base gameplay; restricting all races to hyperspace pathways, changing how borders work and adding starbases and more detailed ground combat. 

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"Too many worlds. That’s the problem with space. You develop interstellar flight and hope to find a big emptiness that you can coast around in until all of the stars fade to black, but there’s all this stuff scattered about. Planets and asteroid belts and big alien jellysquids."

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The best way to share your game streams online

Subject: General Tech | January 10, 2018 - 02:13 PM |
Tagged: amd, nvidia, relive, ShadowPlay, gaming

[H]ard|OCP are comparing AMD and NVIDIA's exhibitionist software to see which offers streamers the best experience.  The two applications are superficially similar but they both offer different features and performance, not to mention only supporting their own hardware.  From a performance standpoint, NVIDIA's ShadowPlay is slightly ahead in efficiency but not in any meaningful way, you would not be able to discern between the two in a blind test.  When you look at features, AMD's ReLive is the clear winner.  You can set your bitrate between 1-100Mbps at every resolution, from 360p to 2160p while NVIDIA maxes out at 50Mbps at any resolution and only supports up to 1440p.  There are several other features AMD included which surpass NVIDIA's offerings, read about them all here.

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"We take AMD ReLive in the AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition and NVIDIA ShadowPlay as part of GeForce Experience and find out which one is more FPS and CPU-efficient for recording gameplay. We will compare features, specifications, and find out which better suits content creators for recording gameplay."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

CES 2018: HyperX Cloud Flight Wireless Gaming Headset

Subject: General Tech | January 10, 2018 - 01:07 PM |
Tagged: wireless, kingston, hyperx, headset, headphones, gaming, Cloud Flight, CES 2018, CES, 2.4GHz

HyperX has announced their first wireless headset with the Cloud Flight, and with it the promise of a whopping 30 hours of battery life on a single charge using its 2.4 GHz connection.

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"With a solid, gaming-grade wireless connection, incredible 30-hour battery life, and signature HyperX comfort, Cloud Flight allows you to play uninterrupted for longer. The closed cup design helps keep you immersed, while the durable steel slider and high-quality construction mean it’s built to withstand daily wear and tear."

The new Cloud Flight headset is compatibile with PS4/PS4 Pro as well as PC, and the optional wired connection allows use with anything that supports a 3.5 mm connection. Other features include 90° earcup rotation, adjustable lighting effects, and the detachable noise-cancelling mic is certified by TeamSpeak and Discord.

Specifications from HyperX:

Headphone

  • Driver: Dynamic, 50mm with neodymium magnets
  • Type: Circumaural, Closed back
  • Frequency response:
    • Wireless: 20Hz–20,000Hz
    • Analog: 15Hz–23,000Hz
  • Impedance: 32 Ω
  • Sound pressure level: 106dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
  • T.H.D.: < 2%
  • Weight: 300g; 315g with mic
  • Cable length and type: USB charge cable (1m) + Detachable 3.5mm headphone cable (1.3m)

Microphone

  • Element: Electret condenser microphone
  • Polar pattern: Noise-cancelling
  • Frequency response: 100Hz-7,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: -45dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)
  • Battery life:
    • LED off: 30 hours
    • Breathing LED: 18 hours
    • Solid LED: 13 hours
  • Wireless Range: Up to 20 meters

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The HyperX Cloud Flight wireless gaming headset is available now for $159.99, and our testing is already underway so expect the full review soon!

CES 2018: Corsair Introduces New Wireless Gaming Peripherals

Subject: General Tech | January 9, 2018 - 07:19 PM |
Tagged: MX Red, mechanical, keyboard, key switches, K63, gaming, corsair, Cherry MX, bluetooth, 2.4GHz, CES 2018, CES, wireless

Corsair continues the expansion of their peripheral portfolio at CES, and the focus here is wireless. The new products include a new wireless keyboard and mouse (Corsair's first wireless mouse) along with a Qi wireless charging mousepad and new lap board.

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K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

First up is the K63 keyboard, a wireless TKL design with a trio of connection options. In addition to Corsair's 2.4 GHz connection which offers 1 ms latency, there is also the option of connecting via Bluetooth 4.2 (with a latency of 7.5 ms) or use a standard wired connection via USB (which also charges the keyboard).

The K63 keyboard has Cherry MX Red key switches (no option for other colors, currently), individual backlighting, and battery life that ranges from 15 hours of continuous use with default backlighting (default brightness is 66%), up to a whopping 75 hours of continuous use without backlight. AES 128-bit encryption is also supported, and for gamers who do not want the additional latency this adds (total of 1.08 ms), encryption can be toggled on and off via software.

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DARK CORE RGB Wireless Mouse

Corsair's first wireless mouse offers the same three connectivity options as the K63 keyboard, with 2.4 GHz or BT 4.2 wireless in addition to USB, and there is an SE version of the mouse that also supports the Qi wireless standard with its integrated charging coil, and that is complimented by the MM1000 Qi wireless charging mousepad.

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Not only did Corsair announce the new keyboard and mouse, but also the K63 Lapboard for your slick new wireless peripherals. It's a lightweight design that features memory foam padding and a built-in wrist rest, and the mouse pad is removable for cleaning/replacement.

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All of these new wireless peripherals and accessories are available now, with pricing as follows:

  • Dark Core RGB Mouse: $79.99
  • Dark Core RGB SE Mouse: $89.99
  • MM1000 Qi Wireless Charging Mousepad: $79.99
  • K63 Wireless Keyboard: $109.99
  • K63 Wireless Gaming Lapboard: $59.99
  • K63 Wireless Gaming Keyboard/Lapboard Combo: $159.99
Source: Corsair

CES 2018: ASUS ROG Strix SKT T1 Hero Edition and G703 Gaming Laptops

Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 8, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: Strix SKT T1, strix, ROG, Republic of Gamers, notebook, laptop, gaming, g703, CES 2018, CES, asus

ASUS has a pair of laptops from their Republic of Gamers lineup at CES this year, and we'll begin with the ROG Strix SKT T1 Hero Edition, a limited-edition laptop which "marks the first collaboration between ROG and top eSports team SK Telecom T1". 

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In addition to bundled ROG/SK Telecom T1 co-branded swag (team jersey, mouse pad, posters) the laptop itself has been externally designed to reflect its affiliation. Hardware reflects its MOBA-inspired gaming approach, which includes an unspecified Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, and 120 Hz IPS display (which offers 100% sRGB coverage). The keyboard features N-key rollover, upgraded switches with "20-million-keystroke durability", and RGB lighting.

Next we have the massive 17-inch ROG G703, which was launched back in November, and is "the world's first gaming laptop with an ultra-smooth 17.3-inch Full HD wide-view display with NVIDIA G-SYNC technology for a 144Hz refresh rate" according to ASUS.

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The ROG G703 is powered by an Intel Core i7-7820HK processor which is factory-overclocked for speeds of up to 4.3 GHz, and no less than an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (with a top clock of 1974 MHz) handles gaming duties. The biggest part of the laptop (literally) is the display, as ASUS explains:

"High-refresh-rate displays provide the fluidity and responsiveness demanded by top eSports gamers and enthusiasts, so ROG also created ROG Strix Scar Edition with a 144Hz panel and GTX 1070 graphics. ASUS has also introduced high-refresh-rate displays into the mainstream gaming market with the FX503 laptop, which features a 15.6-inch Full HD display with a 120Hz refresh rate and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics."

The ROG G703 also offers built-in Xbox Wireless capability, freeing up USB ports when connecting Microsoft's gaming controllers.

The ROG G703 is available now with an MSRP starting at $3499, and ASUS says the ROG Strix SKT T1 Hero Edition will carry an MSRP of $1699 with availability in Q1 2018.

Source: ASUS

The top 20 games of 2017?

Subject: General Tech | January 3, 2018 - 02:15 PM |
Tagged: gaming

Ars Technica have assembled an eclectic list of games that they consider the best from last year.  Their picks include a variety of platforms, from the Switch to PC, with games ranging the full gamut.  VR games are not well represented, interesting considering the number of new games which were released this year or ported, in the case of Skyrim and others.  This could be due to the high price to be able to play, or it could represent the somewhat lacklustre uptake of VR gaming.  Take a read through the list and then post the games that they completely ignored, that deserve top billing.

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"While single-player adventures dominated our rankings this year, the full list encompasses everything from traditional shooters and throwback platformers to indie puzzles and narratives, plus a few VR experiences for good measure."

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Source: Ars Technica

Free games? Why not!

Subject: General Tech | December 20, 2017 - 02:58 PM |
Tagged: ubisoft, assassins creed black flag, watchdogs, world in conflict, gaming, free games

If you haven't noticed the links in previous posts, here is a list of the games you can grab for free today.  First up is Good Old Games who are giving away Oxenfree, a point and click creepy adventure game from Night School Studio, a company formed by some ex-Telltale and Disney devs. 

The next ones do come with a small hitch; you will need to install Ubisoft's UPlay to take advantage of the deal and to play the games.  If you are willing to install the client, you can grab Assassin's Creed Black Flag, Watchdogs and World in Conflict Complete Edition. 

There are also sales going on at Humble Bundle and GoG which are worth checking out if you want to spend a bit of money on your games.

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Source: GoG

Corsair's HS50 continue to recieve kudos

Subject: General Tech | December 15, 2017 - 01:59 PM |
Tagged: stereo, review, neodymium, HS50, headset, headphones, gaming, corsair, 50mm, audio

Sebastian was not the only one who listened to Corsair's new HS50 gaming headset, several other sites tested out this $50 headset and offered their thoughts.  The Tech Report contrasted this headset with their favoured Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones which cost roughly three times as much.  They found the audio to be somewhat clearer on the more expensive headset as you might expect, but Corsair's offering came very close and offer congratulations on the quality they managed on such an inexpensive pair of headphones.  Check out their review in full right here.

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"Corsair's HS50 Stereo Gaming Headset boasts solid build quality and classy looks, plus a Swiss Army knife's worth of compatibility. We gamed with the HS50 on consoles and listened to its musical chops to see whether it's a winner for $50."

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Manufacturer: NVIDIA

A preview of potential Volta gaming hardware

This is a multi-part story for the NVIDIA Titan V:

As a surprise to most of us in the media community, NVIDIA launched a new graphics card to the world, the TITAN V. No longer sporting the GeForce brand, NVIDIA has returned the Titan line of cards to where it began – clearly targeted at the world of developers and general purpose compute. And if that branding switch isn’t enough to drive that home, I’m guessing the $2999 price tag will be.

Today’s article is going to look at the TITAN V from the angle that is likely most interesting to the majority of our readers, that also happens to be the angle that NVIDIA is least interested in us discussing. Though targeted at machine learning and the like, there is little doubt in my mind that some crazy people will want to take on the $3000 price to see what kind of gaming power this card can provide. After all, this marks the first time that a Volta-based GPU from NVIDIA has shipped in a place a consumer can get their hands on it, and the first time it has shipped with display outputs. (That’s kind of important to build a PC around it…)

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From a scientific standpoint, we wanted to look at the Titan V for the same reasons we tested the AMD Vega Frontier Edition cards upon their launch: using it to estimate how future consumer-class cards will perform in gaming. And, just as we had to do then, we purchased this Titan V from NVIDIA.com with our own money. (If anyone wants to buy this from me to recoup the costs, please let me know! Ha!)

  Titan V Titan Xp GTX 1080 Ti GTX 1080 GTX 1070 Ti GTX 1070 RX Vega 64 Liquid Vega Frontier Edition
GPU Cores 5120 3840 3584 2560 2432 1920 4096 4096
Base Clock 1200 MHz 1480 MHz 1480 MHz 1607 MHz 1607 MHz 1506 MHz 1406 MHz 1382 MHz
Boost Clock 1455 MHz 1582 MHz 1582 MHz 1733 MHz 1683 MHz 1683 MHz 1677 MHz 1600 MHz
Texture Units 320 240 224 160 152 120 256 256
ROP Units 96 96 88 64 64 64 64 64
Memory 12GB 12GB 11GB 8GB 8GB 8GB 8GB 16GB
Memory Clock 1700 MHz MHz 11400 MHz 11000 MHz 10000 MHz 8000 MHz 8000 MHz 1890 MHz 1890 MHz
Memory Interface 3072-bit
HBM2
384-bit G5X 352-bit G5X 256-bit G5X 256-bit 256-bit 2048-bit HBM2 2048-bit HBM2
Memory Bandwidth 653 GB/s 547 GB/s 484 GB/s 320 GB/s 256 GB/s 256 GB/s 484 GB/s 484 GB/s
TDP 250 watts 250 watts 250 watts 180 watts 180 watts 150 watts 345 watts 300 watts
Peak Compute 12.2 (base) TFLOPS
14.9 (boost) TFLOPS
12.1 TFLOPS 11.3 TFLOPS 8.2 TFLOPS 7.8 TFLOPS 5.7 TFLOPS 13.7 TFLOPS 13.1 TFLOPS
MSRP (current) $2999 $1299 $699 $499   $399 $699 $999

The Titan V is based on the GV100 GPU though with some tweaks that lower performance and capability slightly when compared to the Tesla-branded equivalent hardware. Though our add-in card iteration has the full 5120 CUDA cores enabled, the HBM2 memory bus is reduced from 4096-bit to 3072-bit and it has one of the four stacks on the package disabled. This also drops the memory capacity from 16GB to 12GB, and memory bandwidth to 652.8 GB/s.

Continue reading our gaming review of the NVIDIA Titan V!!

Can system RAM help out a mid-range GPU?

Subject: General Tech | December 13, 2017 - 03:43 PM |
Tagged: gaming

TechSpot took a look at the effect of system RAM on gaming performance when using a GPU with less VRAM than a game prefers.  They tested both the 3GB and 6GB models of the GTX 1060, with 4, 8, 16 and 32GB of system memory installed.  With the rising costs of RAM, their findings suggest paying for the extra VRAM is worth it as the 3GB model didn't really start to offer proper performance with less than 16GB of DDR in the system.  That extra RAM will often cost you more than purchasing a better GPU, though perhaps not enough to justify that GTX 1080 Ti.  Check out the full review to see what effect extra RAM has on your favourite games.

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"Measuring the impact that RAM capacity has on gaming is harder than it sounds because of all the factors at play. However we've tested different hardware configurations to determine how much memory is truly useful for gaming from 4GB up to 32GB."

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Source: Techspot