CES 2017: ASUS Announces VivoPC X Compact VR-ready PC

Subject: Systems | January 3, 2017 - 10:48 PM |
Tagged: VR, small form factor, SFF, PC, gaming, desktop, CES 2017, CES, asus

ASUS has announced a compact, VR-ready desktop called the VivoPC X, and this small form-factor PC contains a 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor and discrete NVIDIA graphics.

 VivoPC M80.jpg

“VivoPC X is powered by a 7th Generation Intel Core processor with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 series graphics, and is fully compatible with the latest VR headsets. Its compact 5-liter chassis can be placed anywhere in the home, and has extensive connectivity features including four USB 3.1 Gen 1 and two USB 2.0 ports for VR peripherals and controllers. VivoPC X is designed for general consumers who are looking for a VR-ready PC that meets the hardware demands of VR tasks and entertainment.”

VivoPC X_M80 Thermal.jpg

A look at the cooling system within the VivoPC X

Here are the specifications from ASUS:


  • Processor: Intel Core i5-7300HQ
  • Chipset: Intel HM175
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
  • Memory: 8GB DDR4 2133MHz
  • Storage     
    • Up to 2TB SATA hard drive (7200RPM)
    • 512GB M.2 SATA SSD
  • Connectivity    
    • 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1
    • 2 x USB 2.0
    • 1 x 3-in-1 audio jack
    • 1 x RJ45 LAN (Gigabit)
    • 2 x HDMI
    • 1 x DisplayPort
  • Wireless: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1
  • Operating system: Windows 10
  • Power supply: 230W adapter
  • Size: 2.99 x 10.23 x 11.02 inches

VivoPC M80 1.jpg

The console-sized VivoPC X will be available in March with an MSRP of $799.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: ASUS

CES 2017: Acer Details Predator 21 X Curved-Screen Gaming Notebook

Subject: Mobile | January 3, 2017 - 02:42 PM |
Tagged: Predator 21 X, notebook, laptop, gaming, curved screen, CES 2017, CES, acer

The Predator 21 X was originally announced back in August, but today Acer is providing detailed specs, pricing and availability for the world's first curved-screen gaming notebook.

Acer Predator_21_X_GX21-71_moodshot-number pad.jpg

"As the world’s first notebook to offer a curved 21-inch IPS display (2560 x 1080 resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate), it delivers a truly immersive gaming experience, especially when combined with the notebook’s eye-tracking technology from Tobii. Taking PC gaming immersion to new depths, eye tracking lets gamers identify enemies, aim and take cover simply by gazing at objects on the screen in over 45 titles like Elite Dangerous, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and WATCH_DOGS 2. The curved screen also features NVIDIA G-SYNC technology, ensuring smooth and sharp gameplay."

The specifications are as outlandish as one might expect from 21-inch curved-screen gaming laptop: dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphic cards in SLI, a 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7820HK processor (overclockable, no less), 64GB of DDR4-2400 memory, and up to four 512GB solid state drives in RAID 0, among other things.

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Specifications from Acer:


  • Display: 21” Wide-FHD (21:9) 2560 x 1080, 120GHz refresh rate, IPS, G-SNYC, 2000R curved screen
  • CPU: 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7820HK (overclockable)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI with 16 GB GDDR5X VRAM
  • Memory: 64GB of DDR4 2400MHz
  • Storage:
    • Storage 1: SSD (NVMe /PCI-e)
    • Storage 2: SSD (NVMe/PCI-e)
    • Storage 3: SSD (SATA)
    • Storage 4: SSD (SATA)
      • RAID 0 support for SATA / PCI-e SSDs
    • Storage 5: 1TB 7200RPM hard disk drive
  • Cooling:
    • 5-Fan cooling system
    • 3 AeroBlade fans for CPU/GPUs
    • Aerodynamic design airflow
    • 9 heat pipes
    • DustDefender + CoolBoost fan control
  • Networking:
    • Killer DoubleShotTM Pro
    • 802.11ac with MU-MIMO (Killer WLAN 1535)
    • Bluetooth 4.1
    • 10/100/1000 Gigabit LAN (Killer LAN E2500)
  • Audio:
    • HiFi quality 3-way sound (tweeter, squawker, woofer)
    • Smart amplifier boost
    • Dolby audio premium
    • Acer TrueHarmony system
    • 4 speakers + 2 subwoofers
  • Webcam: 1280 x 720 resolution, 720p HD audio/video recording
  • I/O Ports:
    • USB 3.1 x 1, Type-C Gen 2: Thunderbolt 3 port
    • USB 3.0 x3, USB 3.0 x1 with power-off charging
    • HDMI x 1 (v2.0, supports 4K2K output)
    • Display Port x2 (supports G-SYNC)
    • SD Card reader (3.0)
    • Mic-in x 1 / Headphone-out x 1
    • Ethernet (RJ-45) port
  • Kensington lock slot
  • Keyboard and Touchpad:
    • Mechanical Keyboard Cherry MX switch
    • Backlit Keyboard with RGB Color (16.7 million colors)
    • Numeric keypad can be flipped over and used as a Precision Touchpad
  • Additional Gaming Features:
    • Tobii EyeX eye tracking
    • Programmable keys
    • Customizable maintenance panel
  • Software:
    • Acer PredatorSense
    • Xsplit Gamecaster
  • OS: Windows 10
  • Battery: 8-cell, 88W hrs
  • Power: 330W x 2
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 22.36 x 12.38 x 3.27 inches / 568 x 314.5 x 83.25 mm
  • Weight: 19.40 lbs / 8.8 kg

Acer Predator_21_X_GX21-71_keyboard.jpg

Going over the above specs it's clear that the Predator 21 X is not going to fall within most people's budget, but the actual number is still pretty staggering: Acer states that the Predator 21 X will be available in February, with prices starting at $8,999 in the USA.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Acer

CES 2017: Lenovo Announces Legion Y720 and Y520 Gaming Laptops

Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 3, 2017 - 03:01 AM |
Tagged: Y720, Y520, nvidia, notebook, Lenovo, Legion, laptop, gtx 1060, GTX 1050 Ti, gaming, CES 2017, CES

Lenovo has announced a pair of new gaming notebooks with the Legion Y720 and Y520, powered by NVIDIA GeForce graphics and the latest 7th-generation Intel processors.

Lenovo Legion Y720 1.jpg

First we have the Legion Y720, a 15.6-inch gaming laptop that is also the “the world’s first Dolby Atmos PC” for immersive surround audio using the latest Dolby home theater standard. Graphical duties are handled by a GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, with CPU options up to a 7th-generation Intel Core i7 (i7-7700HQ).

“Enter a breathtaking world of sight and sound with the Lenovo Legion Y720 Laptop, the world’s first PC featuring Dolby’s revolutionary Atmos audio technology. VR Ready, this gaming laptop combines powerful processing, graphics, hardware and integrated Xbox One Wireless Support for an uninterrupted and immersive gaming experience.”

Lenovo Legion Y720 2.jpg


Lenovo Legion Y720 Specifications:

  • Display
    • 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS or
    • 15.6" UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS Anti-Glare
  • Processor
    • 7th Generation Intel CoreTM i7-7700HQ Processor
    • 7th Generation Intel CoreTM i5-7300HQ Processor
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5
  • Memory: Up to 16 GB DDR4; 2 x SODIMM Slots
  • Storage
    • 128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB PCIe SSD or
    • 500 GB / 1 TB / 2 TB SATA HDD
  • Audio: 2 x 2W JBL Speakers and 3W Subwoofer, Dolby Atmos
  • Connectivity:
    • WLAN & Bluetooth: Up to 2x2 WiFi 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1 Combo
    • LAN: 10/100/1000M Gigabit Ethernet
  • Ports: 3x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt (USB Type-C), Audio Jack, Mic Jack, LAN
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Battery Life: Up to 5-Hour 4 Cell; 60 WHr Li-Polymer Battery
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 380 x 277 x 29 mm / 14.96 x 10.9 x 1.14 inches
  • Weight: Starting at 7.05 lbs (3.2 kg)

Next we have the slimmer (and lighter) Y520 laptop, which pairs up to an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU with up to a 7th-generation Intel Core i7 CPU.

Lenovo Legion Y520 1.jpg

“Lean and mean, the Lenovo Legion Y520 Laptop comes with the latest in processors, graphics and hardware, providing gaming function while a lightweight and smudge-free design deliver a portable form. This laptop is perfect for those who like to game on-the-go, online or with their friends in the same room.”


Lenovo Legion Y520 Specifications:

  • Display: 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9; IPS; Anti-Glare
  • Processor: Up to 7th Generation Intel Core i7
  • Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
  • Memory: Up to 16 GB DDR4; 2x SODIMM Slots
  • Storage:
    • 128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB PCIe SSD or
    • 500 GB / 1 TB / 2 TB SATA HDD
  • Audio: 2x 2W Harman Certified Speakers with Dolby Audio Premium
  • Connectivity
    • WLAN & Bluetooth: 1x1 WiFi 802.11ac or 2x2 WiFi 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1 Combo
    • LAN: 10/100/1000M Gigabit Ethernet
  • Ports: 1x USB 3.1 (Type-C), 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1x HDMI, Audio Jack, Mic Jack, LAN
  • 4-in-1 Card Reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC)
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Battery Life: Up to 4-Hour 3 Cell; 45 WHr Li-Polymer Battery
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 380 x 265 x 25.8 mm / 14.96 x 10.43 x 1.01 inches
  • Weight: Starting at 5.3 lbs (2.4 kg)

Lenovo Legion Y520 4.jpg

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Lenovo

Frog Fractions 2 finally uncovered!

Subject: General Tech | December 27, 2016 - 01:19 PM |
Tagged: frog fractoins 2, gaming, kick ass

If you missed the wonderfully brilliant insanity which was Frog Fractions you can still play it over here, and you should!  It won't make sense at first and frankly you will still be befuddled at the end, but the trip is worth it, no matter how odd the task you are required to perform happens to be.  In order to play the second you must pick up Glittermitten Grove, as Frog Fractions 2 is now hidden within the game; the was released a while back but as of Christmas you can now find Frog Fractions 2 hidden within.  Cheers to Ars Technica for the news; have fun trying to figure out the new Frog Fractions and keep an eye out as it may appear in other places.

Desktop-12.27.2016-09.20.47.01-1440x810.jpg

"Crawford took Frog Fractions 2 in a different direction from Frog Fractions, explaining that its release would be a complex and hidden process—there might be multiple games that came together to form Frog Fractions 2, like some kind of weird Voltron; or the game might be released and hiding in plain sight for months before anyone discovers what it really is."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Ars Technica

Enderel, the total Skyrim conversion, is to get an expansion

Subject: General Tech | December 22, 2016 - 01:53 PM |
Tagged: skyrim, Enderal, mod. expansion, gaming

If you have yet to try out the total conversion mod for Skyrim, Enderal: The Shards of Order you are missing out.  A world not quite as large as Skyrim but every bit as beautiful and full of lore is yours for free, all you need is Skyrim.  The skill trees are very different, paths are unlocked by meditation after levelling and they have added new balance to the game to prevent you from becoming easily overpowered by wandering around and bashing low level monsters.  In order to increase main skills like One Handed Weapons or secondary skills like Lockpicking, you need to purchase a training book in order to use the points gained from levelling, and they become very expensive.

Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN have been informed that the lead writer of Enderal, Nicolas Samuel and a few helpers, will be creating an expansion to the game, adding new quests and subplots.  Check out the mood trailer below.

"SureAI’s huge Skyrim total conversion Enderal: The Shards of Order [official site], which builds a whole new game upon Bethesda’s foundations, is getting an expansion of its own in 2017."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Das Keyboard

Premium Minimalism

Das Keyboard describes their products as "the ultimate experience for badasses", and the Austin, TX based company has delivered premium designs since their initial (completely blank) keyboard in 2005. The Prime 13 is a traditional 104-key design (with labeled keys), and features Cherry MX Brown switches and simple white LED backlighting. So it is a truly "badass" product? Read on to find out!

DSC_0635.jpg

"Das Keyboard Prime 13 is a minimalist mechanical keyboard designed to take productivity to the next level. Free of fancy features, the Prime 13 delivers an awesome typing experience by focusing on premium material and simple design. Featuring an anodized aluminum top panel, Cherry MX switches with white LEDs, USB pass-through and an extra-long braided cable, the Prime 13 is the ideal mechanical keyboard for overachievers who want get the job done."

I don't need to tell prospective mechanical keyboard buyers that the market is very crowded, and it seems to grow every month. Just about PC accessory maker offers at least one option, and many have tried to distinguish themselves with RGB lighting effects and software with game-specific profiles and the like. So is there still room for a simple, non-RGB keyboard with no special software involved? I think so, but it will need to be quite a premium design to justify a $149 price tag, and that's what the Prime 13 will run at retail. First impressions are very good, but I'll try to cover the experience as well as I can in text and photos in this review.

DSC_0660.jpg

A close look at the MX Brown switches within the Prime 13

Continue reading our review of the Das Keyboard Prime 13 mechanical keyboard!!

Who's a pretty Dog? Watch what the graphics settings do to image quality

Subject: General Tech | December 14, 2016 - 01:21 PM |
Tagged: gaming, watch dogs 2

[H]ard|OCP have already gone through the highest quality video settings in Watch Dogs 2 which are still playable at a reasonable frame rate, now they are investigating how these settings actually effect the visual quality. The High Resolution Texture Pack does indeed make a difference to the world, much like it did in Skyrim but how do the two NVIDIA only  shadow options differ from the Ultra setting?   The Extra Details slider seems to be a renamed draw distance slider with the effect you would expect and there is a long look at the variety of AA options offered.  If you are curious which of these options most appeal to you, take a long look.

shadowy.PNG

"In Part 3 of our Watch Dog 2 series we focus on the image quality aspects of this game. We will compare high resolution textures, shadows, ambient occlusion, extra details slider and AA. If you are curious what those features look like, how they compare between quality levels, this article will give you an idea what to expect."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

NVIDIA GeForce GTX, HTC VIVE Bundle Deal at GeForce.com

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | December 12, 2016 - 01:31 PM |
Tagged: gaming, nvidia, geforce, htc vive, VR, game bundle

AMD's RX 480 and Fury X are capable of providing decent performance in VR applications and will save you some money for the VR headset, dongles and games.  However NVIDIA upped the ante today, giving away three games to anyone who purchases a GTX 1080, 1070 or 1060 and an HTC Vive. 

htv-vive-glp-header.png

The giveaway encompasses more than North America, as long as you can purchase the bundle from either Microsoft or NewEgg where you happen to live you should be able to get your three free games.  They are redeemable on Steam and should be available immediately, a peek at Sports Bar VR is below.

 

Source: NVIDIA

Watch Dogs 2, in two parts

Subject: General Tech | December 7, 2016 - 03:04 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, amd, gaming, watch dogs 2, GTX 1080, gtx 1070, gtx 1060, rx 480x, rx 470

[H]ard|OCP have spent a lot of with Watch Dogs 2 recently, enough to create three articles covering the game of which two are now published.  The first article focuses on performance at ultra settings and finding the highest playable settings that the GPUs they tested were capable of, without installing the high resolution texture pack.  As it turns out, the game is much more graphically demanding than many other recent releases, so much so that only the Titan X and GTX 1080 was able to perform at 4k resolutions, the GTX 1070 and 1060, as well as the RX 480 and 470 only feature at lower resolutions. 

The second article looks at performance with the texture pack installed, which did not have much effect on overall performance but significantly increased VRAM usage.  Even the mighty Titan X struggled with this game, we will need a new generation of GPUs to utilize all the available graphics features available in this game.  The last review will be up soon and will focus on what effect each of the graphical settings have on the visual appearance of the game.

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"Watch Dogs 2 has been released on the PC. We will have a three part evaluation of performance and image quality starting today with performance comparisons. We will also find the highest playable settings for each graphics card and the gameplay experience delivered. Finally, a graphically demanding game."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Source: [H]ard|OCP
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: AUKEY

Introduction and First Impressions

Aukey, a prominent seller of mobile accessories on Amazon, has an interesting product for PC enthusiasts: an RGB mechanical gaming keyboard for $59.99. The price is definitely right, but is it any good? We’ll take a look!

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“The AUKEY KM-G3 mechanical keyboard takes the gaming experience to a new level. Tactile, responsive mechanical keys put you in control for an outstanding typing or gaming experience. The KM-G3 offers preloaded multi-color RGB backlit lighting effects and patterns. Ideal for FPS, CF, COD, LOL and Racing games - Just use the Function key to easily switch between gaming presets.”

The KM-G3 keyboard is a standard 104-key design, using blue switches (presumably a generic switch as no brand is listed), and there is RGB lighting which can be cycled between various colors and patterns, or switched off if desired. Aukey is also offering a 2-year warranty on the keyboard, which should help allay any fear about a purchase.

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Continue reading our review of the AUKEY KM-G3 RGB mechanical gaming keyboard!