Fus ro dah with a little help from your friends

Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2019 - 01:31 PM |
Tagged: skyrim, multiplayer, mod, gaming

Originally scheduled to be available a year or so back, the team developing a multiplayer mod for Skyrim are almost ready to release a closed beta.  You can see from the video posted over at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN that they have indeed managed to play together using their mod, as well as being compatible with a number of other mods as no one plays vanilla Skyrim anymore.  There are still some bugs to work out, as evidenced in the video and it lacks some of the tricks of Elder Scrolls Online.  On the other hand it doesn't have a lot of the negatives of that game either. 

There is no release day yet, but keep your eyes open for more news as well as where to grab it, as Steam has declined to host it via their Workshop.

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"A Skyrim multiplayer mod is about to enter closed beta, and will soon offer you and up to seven friends the chance to explore the snowy bit of Tamriel together. The devs say the closed beta won’t last long, and an open one will be hot on its heels."

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Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: HyperX

A Tale of Two Headsets

There is no shortage of wireless gaming headsets these days, with 2.4 GHz via USB dongle the most common option. The HyperX Cloud MIX provides wireless connectivity of the Bluetooth variety, and if you need or just prefer a wired connection don't worry - as the name implies these provide wired analog audio via a 3.5mm headset plug, with a Y-cable is also included to split off mic and audio to your sound card's requisite I/O.

HyperX_Cloud_MIX_Main.jpg

An interesting addition to the standard Bluetooth codecs with the Cloud MIX is aptX support, which means this headset has the capability of far better wireless audio quality than the standard SBC codec can provide - if you have a way to connect with aptX, that is. It's also worth noting that the Cloud MIX is actually the first Bluetooth-capable headset HyperX has released, with latency a roadblock to its adoption in this market.

Before moving on here is a look at the full specifications from HyperX:


  • Headphone
    • Driver: Custom dynamic, 40mm driver with neodymium magnets
    • Type: Circumaural; Closed back
    • Frequency Response: 10Hz–40,000Hz
    • Impedance: 40Ω
    • Sound Pressure Level: 100dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
    • T.H.D.: < 2%
    • Weight: 260g
    • Weight with Mic: 275g
  • Cable Length:
    • Detachable Headset Cable:  1.3m
    • PC Extension Cable:  2m
    • USB Charging Cable:  0.5m
  • Connection Type:
    • Detachable Headset Cable:  3.5mm plug (4 pole)
    • PC Extension Cable:  3.5mm stereo and mic plugs
  • Boom Microphone
    • Element: Electret condenser microphone
    • Polar Pattern: Noise-cancelling
    • Frequency Response: 50Hz-18,000 Hz
    • Sensitivity: -42dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)
  • Built-in Microphone
    • Element: Electret condenser microphone
    • Polar Pattern: Omni-directional
    • Frequency Response: 50Hz-8,000 Hz
    • Sensitivity: -33dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)
  • Battery Life (50% headphone volume) 20 hours
  • Bluetooth Version: 4.2
  • Wireless Range: Up to 10 meters

Pricing and Availability: $199.99, Best Buy

HyperX_Cloud_MIX_Box.jpg

Continue reading our review of the HyperX Cloud MIX Wired Headset with Bluetooth!

Your CPU wants to help with ray tracing as well?

Subject: General Tech | January 9, 2019 - 03:50 PM |
Tagged: gaming, battlefield V, ray tracing, RTX 2080, RTX 2070

[H]ard|OCP have been spending a lot of time with Battlefield V, determining the effect of enabling ray tracing on performance.  In their latest look, they compare the effect of running the game on an i9-9700K running at 4.6GHz versus an i7-7700K at 5GHz.  Their results are quite clear, when testing they saw a performance difference between 1-1.5 fps; well within the margin of error. 

When it comes to BFV, your CPU is not the limiter on your performance.

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"We have been doing some deep dives into playing Battlefield V 64-person multiplayer lately and testing what exactly the cost of using NVIDIA Ray Tracing is in terms of framerate performance using new NVIDIA RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 cards. We did get questioned on using a 5GHz overclocked 7700K instead of the suggested CPU that EA recommends."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 and FX705DY Laptops Powered by AMD Ryzen 3000 Series

Subject: Systems | January 9, 2019 - 02:51 AM |
Tagged: ryzen, RX 560X, radeon, notebook, mobile, laptop, gaming, asus, amd

ASUS had a pair of AMD-powered gaming laptops to announce at CES 2019, with the TUF Gaming FX505 and FX705DY, both of which feature the latest Ryzen 3000-series mobile CPUs as well as discrete Radeon RX 560X graphics.

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“Experience smoother, more immersive gameplay with the new ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 AMD Edition. Featuring a cutting-edge IPS-level NanoEdge display with AMD® FreeSync™ technology and a refresh rate up to 120Hz, and armed with the latest AMD Ryzen™ processor and discrete Radeon™ graphics, it delivers high-performance gaming at an affordable price. It’s also tested and certified to military-grade MIL-STD-810G standards, so you’re guaranteed toughness and durability that’s second to none.”

The CPU powering these systems is the AMD Ryzen 5 3550H, a 4-core/8-thread CPU with clock speeds ranging from 2.1 GHz up to 3.7 GHz and a 35W TDP.

"AMD’s Ryzen processors have taken desktops by storm, and TUF Gaming laptops lead the deployment of the newest version. Otherwise known as Picasso, this 2nd Gen Ryzen Mobile APU is built with industry-leading 12nm technology. The Ryzen 5 3550H chip powering FX505DY and FX705DY boasts four cores and eight threads that deliver capable performance for popular games and everyday work. Multithreaded performance is particularly strong, yet the processor fits into a 35W power envelope that doesn’t compromise battery life.

Vega-based integrated graphics allow the APU to power the laptop all on its own, which helps conserve power and extend battery life to over seven hours of 1080p video playback on FX705DY and nearly six hours on FX505DY. Discrete GPUs are where it’s at for proper gaming so when it’s time to play, AMD Switchable Graphics tech automatically activates the laptop’s discrete Radeon RX 560X. The GPU pumps out smooth frame rates in mainstays like Fortnite and Overwatch, as well as esports classics like League of Legends and Dota 2."

Both models have NanoEdge displays with thin bezels and wide viewing angles and variable refresh rates, and while the larger FX705DY provides a FreeSync range of 40-60Hz, the FX505DY offers 48-120Hz capability.

FX705DY_Red Matter.png

Specifications from ASUS for the TUF Gaming FX505DY and FX705DY include:

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
  • Display:
    • 15.6" FHD NanoEdge wide-view display up to 120Hz
    • 17.3" FHD NanoEdge wide-view display
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 560X
  • Memory: Up to 32GB DDR4 2400MHz
  • Storage: Up to 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Up to 1TB FireCuda SSHD
  • Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WLAN, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Connectivity:
    • 2x USB 3.1 Gen1
    • 1x USB 2.0
    • 1x HDMI 2.0
    • 1x RJ-45 jack
    • 1x 3.5mm headphone and mic combo jack
    • 1x Kensington lock
  • Keyboard and touchpad  : 1.8mm key travel
  • Customizable RGB or red backlighting
  • Audio: DTS Headphone: X
  • Battery: 48Wh Lithium-polymer battery (FX505DY), 64Wh Lithium-polymer battery (FX705DY)
  • OS: Windows 10
  • Weight: 4.85 lbs (FX505DY), 5.73 lbs (FX705DY)

Official pricing was not revealed in the press release, but we should be able to expect some fairly agressive sub-$1000 pricing with these at the base configuration level.

Source: ASUS

HyperX Announces Cloud Orbit Gaming Headsets with Audeze Planar Drivers

Subject: General Tech | January 7, 2019 - 11:05 PM |
Tagged: hyperx, CES, ces 2019, gaming, headset, Audeze, planar magnetic, Waves Nx

HyperX has announces the Cloud Orbit and Cloud Orbit S gaming headsets, produced in collaboration with Audeze to incorporate the company's planar magnetic driver technology.

"Cloud Orbit headsets are based on the ground-breaking Audeze Mobius Platform that features 100mm planar magnetic driver technology for clear and realistic spatial audio. Audeze planar magnetic designs utilize extremely thin-film speakers and powerful custom magnets, allowing you to accurately hear where your opponent is located. Feel completely immersed in the field of play with high resolution audio clarity and wide sound stage."

HyperX Cloud Orbit.jpg

In addition to the use of these 100 mm planar drivers the new headsets also feature Waves Nx 3D audio technology for a 360-degree audio experience.

"The Cloud Orbit S includes Waves Nx head tracking technology to deliver a stable hyper-realistic 360-degree audio environment where the users head movements bring the room to life 1,000 times a second. HyperX gaming headsets paired with Audeze and Waves technology bring audio quality to the next level with audio technology previously found only in audiophile headsets."

Cloud Orbit & Cloud Orbit S Specifications

Headphone

  • Driver: Planar transducer, 100 mm
  • Type: Circumaural, Closed back
  • Frequency response: 10Hz–50,000Hz
  • Sound pressure level: 120 dB
  • T.H.D.: < 0.1% (1 kHz, 1 mW)
  • Weight: 350g
  • Cable length:
  • 3.5mm (4-pole): 1.2m
  • USB Type C to Type A: 3m
  • USB Type C to Type C: 1.2m

Boom Microphone

  • Element: Electret condenser microphone
  • Microphone type: Noise-cancelling
  • Battery life: 10 hours (Tested at 50% headphone volume)

The new headsets will be on the premium end of the market with MSRPs of $299.99 for the HyperX Orbit and $329.99 for the Orbit S. A release date has not been announced just yet.

Source: HyperX

Is it midrange or not? Meet the RTX 2060

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 7, 2019 - 04:34 PM |
Tagged: video card, turing, tu106, RTX 2060, rtx, nvidia, graphics card, gpu, gddr6, gaming

After months of rumours and guesses as to what the RTX 2060 will actually offer, we finally know.  It is built on the same TU106 the RTX 2070 uses and sports somewhat similar core clocks though the drop in TC, ROPs and TUs reduces it to producing a mere 5 GigaRays.  The memory is rather different, with the 6GB of GDDR6 connected via 192-bit bus offering 336.1 GB/s of bandwidth.  As you saw in Sebastian's testing the overall performance is better than you would expect from a mid-range card but at the cost of a higher price.

If we missed out on your favourite game, check the Guru of 3D's suite of benchmarks or one of the others below. 

RTX2060_Box.jpg

"NVIDIA today announced the GeForce RTX 2060, the graphics card will be unleashed next week the 15th at a sales price of 349 USD / 359 EUR. Today, however, we can already bring you a full review of what is a pretty feisty little graphics card really."

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Source: Guru of 3D
Manufacturer: NVIDIA

Formidable Mid-Range

We have to go all the way back to 2015 for NVIDIA's previous graphics card announcement at CES, with the GeForce GTX 960 revealed during the show four years ago. And coming on the heels of this announcement today we have the latest “mid-range” offering in the tradition of the GeForce x60 (or x060) cards, the RTX 2060. This launch comes as no surprise to those of us following the PC industry, as various rumors and leaks preceded the announcement by weeks and even months, but such is the reality of the modern supply chain process (sadly, few things are ever really a surprise anymore).

RTX2060_Box.jpg

But there is still plenty of new information available with the official launch of this new GPU, not the least of which is the opportunity to look at independent benchmark results to find out what to expect with this new GPU relative to the market. To this end we had the opportunity to get our hands on the card before the official launch, testing the RTX 2060 in several games as well as a couple of synthetic benchmarks. The story is just beginning, and as time permits a "part two" of the RTX 2060 review will be offered to supplement this initial look, addressing omissions and adding further analysis of the data collected thus far.

Before getting into the design and our initial performance impressions of the card, let's look into the specifications of this new RTX 2060, and see how it relates to the rest of the RTX family from NVIDIA. We are  taking a high level look at specs here, so for a deep dive into the RTX series you can check out our previous exploration of the Turing Architecture here.

"Based on a modified version of the Turing TU106 GPU used in the GeForce RTX 2070, the GeForce RTX 2060 brings the GeForce RTX architecture, including DLSS and ray-tracing, to the midrange GPU segment. It delivers excellent gaming performance on all modern games with the graphics settings cranked up. Priced at $349, the GeForce RTX 2060 is designed for 1080p gamers, and delivers an excellent gaming experience at 1440p."

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  RTX 2080 Ti RTX 2080 RTX 2070 RTX 2060 GTX 1080 GTX 1070
GPU TU102 TU104 TU106 TU106 GP104 GP104
GPU Cores 4352 2944 2304 1920 2560 1920
Base Clock 1350 MHz 1515 MHz 1410  MHz 1365 MHz 1607 MHz 1506 MHz
Boost Clock 1545 MHz/
1635 MHz (FE)
1710 MHz/
1800 MHz (FE)
1620 MHz
1710 MHz (FE)
1680 MHz 1733 MHz 1683 MHz
Texture Units 272 184 144 120 160 120
ROP Units 88 64 64 48 64 64
Tensor Cores 544 368 288 240 -- --
Ray Tracing Speed 10 Giga Rays 8 Giga Rays 6 Giga Rays 5 Giga Rays -- --
Memory 11GB 8GB 8GB 6GB 8GB 8GB
Memory Clock 14000 MHz  14000 MHz  14000 MHz 14000 MHz 10000 MHz 8000 MHz
Memory Interface 352-bit GDDR6 256-bit GDDR6 256-bit GDDR6 192-bit GDDR6 256-bit GDDR5X 256-bit GDDR5
Memory Bandwidth 616 GB/s 448 GB/s 448 GB/s 336.1 GB/s 320 GB/s 256 GB/s
TDP 250 W /
260 W (FE)
215W /
225W (FE)
175 W / 185W (FE) 160 W 180 W 150 W
MSRP (current) $1200 (FE)/
$1000
$800 (FE)/
$700
$599 (FE)/ $499 $349 $549 $379

Continue reading our initial review of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060!

NVIDIA RTX 2060 Details Leaked

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 1, 2019 - 12:41 AM |
Tagged: turing, tu106, RTX 2060, nvidia, gaming

Videocardz recently released information on the NVIDIA RTX 2060 that sheds more light on the rumored card. Reportedly sourced from a copy of the official reviewer's guide, Videocardz claims that they are now able to confirm the specifications of the RTX 2060 including 1920 CUDA cores, 240 tensor cores, 30 ray tracing cores, and 6GB GDDR6 memory.

NVIDIA-GeForce-RTX-2060-VideoCardz.jpg

Graphics cards using the TU106-300 GPU will be available in stock and factory overclocked designs with the NVIDIA reference or AIB custom coolers. Display outputs include DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort

  RTX 2060 RTX 2070 GTX 1070 Ti  RX Vega 64 RX Vega 56
GPU TU106-300 TU106-400 GP104 Vega 10 Vega 10
CUDA cores 1920 2304 2432 4096 SPs 3584 SPs
RT cores 30 36 na na na
Tensor cores 240 288      
TMUs 120 144 152 256 224
ROPs 48 64 64 64 64
Memory 6GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR5 8GB HBM2 8GB HBM2
SP Compute 6.5 TF 7.5 TF 7.8 TF 12.5 TF (13.7 AIO) 10.5 TF
Base clock 1365 1410 1607 1200 (1406 AIO) 1156
Boost clock 1680 1710 (FE) 1683 1546 (1677 AIO) 1471
Memory clock 14000 MHz 14000 MHz 8000 MHz 1890 MHz 1600 MHz
TDP 160W

185W (FE)

180W 295W 210W
Launch MSRP $349 $499 (599 FE) $449 $499 $399
Pricing 1-1-19 ? $500+ $405+ $400+ ($500+ AIO) $470+(?)

Allegedly, the RTX 2060 will offer up performance that is comparable to last generation's GTX 1070 Ti in 1080p and 1440p gaming scenarios. In a couple games the card even gets close to the GTX 1080 but in most of the titles listed by Videocardz (from the alleged reviewer's guide) the new GPU comes in slightly faster ot slightly slower than the 1070 Ti depending on the specific game. The RTX 2060 and its 30 RT cores can reportedly pull off playable 65 FPS Battlefield V even with RTX enabled with performance looking better with DLSS turned on at 88 FPS compared to RTX off performance of 90 FPS. Granted, that is Battlefield V at 1080p rather than the 1440p or 4k that the beefier RTX cards can push out.

When it comes to pricing, the RTX 2060 will have a MSRP of $349 with AIB and Founder's Edition being at the same level. RTX 2060 graphics cards are slated to launch om January 7th and will be available as soon as January 15th. If true we will not have long to wait until it is official and reviews are unveiled.

If you are curious about the rumored performance, check out the charts Videocardz uncovered.

 

Related reading:

Source: NVIDIA

A quarter century tour; a Space Marine's job is never done

Subject: General Tech | December 28, 2018 - 03:20 PM |
Tagged: doom, gaming, john carmack, id software, John Romero

Hackaday takes a look back at one of the most iconic and influential games created, the original DOOM.  The 25 year old story encompasses a lot of the history of the industry, from pushing the then current hardware to it's limits effectively, through porting it to game consoles to what is currently still being done with the venerable game.  id Software and its Where’s All the Data? files have been modded and released constantly and currently if you have a device with a display and at least 12 MB of storage, you can likely play DOOM on it.  Take a look back as well as a look at John Romero's current project SIGIL; it should bring a smile to your face.

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"In an era that was already soaking with “tude”, Doom established an identity all its own. The moody lighting, the grotesque monster designs, the signature push forward combat, and all the MIDI guitars a Soundblaster could handle; Doom looked and felt a cut above everything else in 1993."

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Source: Hackaday

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone .. need something to distract you?

Subject: General Tech | December 25, 2018 - 03:26 PM |
Tagged: gaming

There are many positive reasons to game on Christmas, perhaps killing time before the next time you baste the turkey and yourself, to show off the newly unwrapped hardware you got or perhaps a family deathmatch tourney to determine who gets stuck washing the dishes.  Steam have fired up their Winter Sale, with their own special advent calendar you can check out even if you don't pick anything up.

Over at Humble Bundle, the annual Yogscast Jingle Jam is offering a long list of games, covering a wide variety of styles.  If you are looking for a classic, GoG's sale is worth a moment of your time.

If you are more the bah humbug type, you should hang out with EA.  There have been rumours stemming from a since deleted post which suggests they were only kidding about learning their lessons from Star Wars Battlefront II as microtransactions may be about to arrive in Battlefield V.  After all, who doesn't want to pay $50 of real money for 6000 BCoins?  On the other hand they may be worth more than the other B type Coins in the near future.

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