Even the coffee cups might make you Prey

Subject: General Tech | May 10, 2017 - 05:16 PM |
Tagged: gaming, prey

Ars Technica is exploring Talos I, the setting of the game Prey and are having a great time.  Similar to the other reviews below this is a quick look at the beginning of the game for Bethesda did not provide any reviewers with an advanced copy.  After the introduction you find yourself equipped with nothing but a wrench and a "Gloo gun", in a station filled with alien Typhon Mimics which can turn into any inanimate object and lay in wait for you.  If you are undecided if this game is worth picking up then read through the article and decide for yourself.

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"Owing to Bethesda's recently enacted policy of withholding review copies until just before release, we've barely had five hours of in-game time with Prey prior to the game's launch today. Consider these impressions a review-in-progress as we work toward the game's conclusion. This piece includes spoilers for some very early portions of the game."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

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Source: Ars Technica

How To: Add AptX Bluetooth Audio to a Windows PC

Subject: Mobile | May 10, 2017 - 05:11 PM |
Tagged: windows, sony, qualcomm, mdr1000x, CSR Harmony, bluetooth, aptX, a2dp

Recently, to prepare for a long plane flight I bought a pair of Sony MDR-1000X Bluetooth noise canceling headphones. While I won't get into the specifics of these headphones other than that I have been really satisfied with them, when I returned from my trip I wanted to start using them at the office.

Seemingly that would be easy, as these headphones feature a 3.5mm input, but I am frequently walking around the office and I wanted to fully utilize the wireless features. While I could have just used any Bluetooth adapter compatible with Windows, I wanted to test out one of the features of these headphones —  AptX technology.

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AptX is an alternate Bluetooth audio codec from Qualcomm which aims to feature higher audio quality. Sebastian took a look at a pair of AptX-enabled headphones earlier this year, and I have wanted to check out the technology ever since.

I went to Amazon, and did a search for "AptX Bluetooth USB" and found a wide array of options, so I did what anyone would naturally do — I bought the cheapest one and hoped it would work

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After receiving the USB adapter, I first installed the CSR Harmony software from the Azio website. This is a piece of software that sits on top of the Windows Bluetooth Stack and enabled advanced Bluetooth features, including AptX, on certain Bluetooth chipsets.

Once the software was installed, I plugged in the device and found a new Bluetooth icon sitting in my Windows tray.

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From here, you can simply right click the icon and search for a new Bluetooth device.

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Once I put the headphones into pairing mode I was able to pair to them successfully.

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And, that's it! Once you are successfully paired to an AptX device, you should see this popup from the Windows tray confirming that AptX is working. From here, you can use the headphones just like you would with any Windows audio playback device. 

This certainly isn't a review of AptX audio quality, I will defer to Sebastian's analysis for that in which he calls the headphones he tested "audiophile-approved Bluetooth."

For a $12 investment, it seems like a no-brainer for users who already have an AptX-enabled device that they use on their smartphone.

Source: Azio

Meet Google's Fuchsia OS

Subject: General Tech | May 10, 2017 - 04:44 PM |
Tagged: fuschia, google, Android, iot

Fuchsia is still a work in progress which has been available on Github for a while now but we haven't really seen a  demonstration of it in action.  A Texan enthusiast has been working on creating one and you can take a peek at it in this video over at The Register.  The tiny OS is design to run on almost anything, from smart light bulbs to phone and even full sized computers.  It is based on BSD with additional resources developed at MIT and will be backwards compatible with current Android libraries.

Google_Fuchsia_OS_Logo.png

"When Fuchsia broke cover last August, we noted the project's ambition. The presence of a compositor indicated it was capable of running on more than lightbulbs and routers, although the tiny new Magenta kernel also allows it go there too."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

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Source: The Register

NVIDIA Announces Tesla V100 with Volta GPU at GTC 2017

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2017 - 01:32 PM |
Tagged: v100, tesla, nvidia, gv100, gtc 2017

During the opening keynote to NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang formally unveiled the latest GPU architecture and the first product based on it. The Tesla V100 accelerator is based on the Volta GPU architecture and features some amazingly impressive specifications. Let’s take a look.

  Tesla V100 GTX 1080 Ti Titan X (Pascal) GTX 1080 GTX 980 Ti TITAN X GTX 980 R9 Fury X R9 Fury
GPU GV100 GP102 GP102 GP104 GM200 GM200 GM204 Fiji XT Fiji Pro
GPU Cores 5120 3584 3584 2560 2816 3072 2048 4096 3584
Base Clock - 1480 MHz 1417 MHz 1607 MHz 1000 MHz 1000 MHz 1126 MHz 1050 MHz 1000 MHz
Boost Clock 1455 MHz 1582 MHz 1480 MHz 1733 MHz 1076 MHz 1089 MHz 1216 MHz - -
Texture Units 320 224 224 160 176 192 128 256 224
ROP Units 128 (?) 88 96 64 96 96 64 64 64
Memory 16GB 11GB 12GB 8GB 6GB 12GB 4GB 4GB 4GB
Memory Clock 878 MHz (?) 11000 MHz 10000 MHz 10000 MHz 7000 MHz 7000 MHz 7000 MHz 500 MHz 500 MHz
Memory Interface 4096-bit (HBM2) 352-bit 384-bit G5X 256-bit G5X 384-bit 384-bit 256-bit 4096-bit (HBM) 4096-bit (HBM)
Memory Bandwidth 900 GB/s 484 GB/s 480 GB/s 320 GB/s 336 GB/s 336 GB/s 224 GB/s 512 GB/s 512 GB/s
TDP 300 watts 250 watts 250 watts 180 watts 250 watts 250 watts 165 watts 275 watts 275 watts
Peak Compute 15 TFLOPS 10.6 TFLOPS 10.1 TFLOPS 8.2 TFLOPS 5.63 TFLOPS 6.14 TFLOPS 4.61 TFLOPS 8.60 TFLOPS 7.20 TFLOPS
Transistor Count 21.1B 12.0B 12.0B 7.2B 8.0B 8.0B 5.2B 8.9B 8.9B
Process Tech 12nm 16nm 16nm 16nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm
MSRP (current) lol $699 $1,200 $599 $649 $999 $499 $649 $549

While we are low on details today, it appears that the fundamental compute units of Volta are similar to that of Pascal. The GV100 has 80 SMs with 40 TPCs and 5120 total CUDA cores, a 42% increase over the GP100 GPU used on the Tesla P100 and 42% more than the GP102 GPU used on the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. The structure of the GPU remains the same GP100 with the CUDA cores organized as 64 single precision (FP32) per SM and 32 double precision (FP64) per SM.

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Click to Enlarge

Interestingly, NVIDIA has already told us the clock speed of this new product as well, coming in at 1455 MHz Boost, more than 100 MHz lower than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and 25 MHz lower than the Tesla P100.

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Click to Enlarge

Volta adds in support for a brand new compute unit though, known as Tensor Cores. With 640 of these on the GPU die, NVIDIA directly targets the neural network and deep learning fields. If this is your first time hearing about Tensor, you should read up on its influence on the hardware markets, bringing forth an open-source software library for machine learning. Google has invested in a Tensor-specific processor already, and now NVIDIA throws its hat in the ring.

Adding Tensor Cores to Volta allows the GPU to do mass processing for deep learning, on the order of a 12x improvement over Pascal’s capabilities using CUDA cores only.

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For users interested in standard usage models, including gaming, the GV100 GPU offers 1.5x improvement in FP32 computing, up to 15 TFLOPS of theoretical performance and 7.5 TFLOPS of FP64. Other relevant specifications include 320 texture units, a 4096-bit HBM2 memory interface and 16GB of memory on-module. NVIDIA claims a memory bandwidth of 900 GB/s which works out to 878 MHz per stack.

Maybe more impressive is the transistor count: 21.1 BILLION! NVIDIA claims that this is the largest chip you can make physically with today’s technology. Considering it is being built on TSMC's 12nm FinFET technology and has an 815 mm2 die size, I see no reason to doubt them.

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Shipping is scheduled for Q3 for Tesla V100 – at least that is when NVIDIA is promising the DXG-1 system using the chip is promised to developers.

I know many of you are interested in the gaming implications and timelines – sorry, I don’t have an answer for you yet. I will say that the bump from 10.6 TFLOPS to 15 TFLOPS is an impressive boost! But if the server variant of Volta isn’t due until Q3 of this year, I find it hard to think NVIDIA would bring the consumer version out faster than that. And whether or not NVIDIA offers gamers the chip with non-HBM2 memory is still a question mark for me and could directly impact performance and timing.

More soon!!

Source: NVIDIA

NVIDIA Releases VRWorks Audio 1.0

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2017 - 07:02 AM |
Tagged: vrworks, nvidia, audio

GPUs are good at large bundles of related tasks, saving die area by tying several chunks of data together. This is commonly used for graphics, where screens have two-to-eight million (1080p to 4K) pixels, 3d models have thousands to millions of vertexes, and so forth. Each instruction is probably done hundreds, thousands, or millions of times, and so parallelism greatly helps with utilizing real-world matter to store and translate this data.

Audio is another area with a lot of parallelism. A second of audio has tens of thousands of sound pressure samples, but another huge advantage is that higher frequency sounds model pretty decently as rays, which can be traced. NVIDIA decided to repurpose their OptiX technology into calculating these rays. Beyond the architecture demo that you often see in global illumination demos, they also integrated it into an Unreal Tournament test map.

And now it’s been released, both as a standalone SDK and as an Unreal Engine 4.15 plug-in. I don’t know what its license specifically entails, because the source code requires logging into NVIDIA’s developer portal, but it looks like the plug-ins will be available to all users of supported engines.

Source: NVIDIA

GeForce Experience 3.6 Has Vulkan and OpenGL

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2017 - 03:53 AM |
Tagged: vulkan, ShadowPlay, opengl, nvidia, geforce experience

The latest version of GeForce Experience, 3.6, adds video capture (including screenshots and live streaming) support for OpenGL and Vulkan games. The catalog of titles support by ShadowPlay, which I’m pretty sure NVIDIA wants to call Share now, despite referring to it by its old name in the blog post, now includes No Man’s Sky, DOOM, and Microsoft’s beloved OpenGL title: Minecraft.

The rest of the update focuses on tweaking a few interface elements, including its streaming panel, its video and screenshot upload panel, and its gallery. Access to the alternative graphics APIs was the clear headline-maker, however, opening the door to several large gaming groups, and potentially even more going forward.

GeForce Experience 3.6 is available now.

Source: NVIDIA

5 by 5, AMD versus Intel in the $200 price range

Subject: Processors | May 9, 2017 - 03:26 PM |
Tagged: ryzen, amd, 1500X, 1600X, ryzen 5

The pricing of AMD's Ryzen 5 line spans from $170 to $250, similar to Intel's Core i5 line and may wwll tempt those a generation or two out of date to consider an upgrade.  In order to demonstrate differences in CPU performance Ars Technica tested both Intel and AMD processors paired with a GTX 1080 Ti.  By doing so at lower resolutions which the card can more than handle they expose differences in the performance of the two architectures, which seem to follow AMD's offerings into higher resolutions albeit with a smaller performance delta.  Check out the wide gamut of tests that were performed to see which architecture makes more sense for your usage, especially if you do more than just gaming and surfing.

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"The Ryzen 5 range is made up of four chips. At the top is the £240/$250 Ryzen 5 1600X, a 95W six-core chip that boasts simultaneous multithreading (SMT, the equivalent of hyper-threading), 16MB of L3 cache, and a 3.6GHz base clock."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

 

Source: Ars Technica

AMD Ryzen 7 1700X Selling for $333

Subject: Processors | May 9, 2017 - 03:13 PM |
Tagged: ryzen, amd, 1700X

A little birdie sent me a note this afternoon that the AMD Ryzen 7 1700X processor was selling on Amazon.com for just $333! Considering the launch price of that CPU was $399 just two months ago, a $60-70 discount makes this platform all the more compelling for consumers looking to build a new PC. Coupling that with the overclocking performance we saw from our Ryzen 1700 sample, you should be able to meet or exceed expectations with the 1700X model.

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This link led me down a bit of a rabbit hole as I wanted to see where a solid build would stand using that processor and a focus on budget. Now, keep in mind that this was put together rather hastily this afternoon, but here's what I came up with.

  Ryzen 7 1700X Build
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 1700X - $333
Cooler Thermaltake Contac Silent - $24
Motherboard ASUS Prime B350-Plus - $99
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB DDR4-3000 - $118
Graphics Card EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB - $149
Storage Samsung 850 EVO 250GB - $107
Case Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case - $56
Power Supply Corsair CX 500 watt - $59
Total Price $945 - Amazon.com Full Cart

For the base of the system, you can pick up the Ryzen 7 1700X processor for $333, a great B350-based motherboard from ASUS for $99 and 16GB of DDR4 memory running at 3000 MHz for just $118. Getting that memory at higher clock speeds is important for optimal Ryzen performance - hunt around to find the best deal! That's just $550 for the heart of a system that could power anything from the GTX 1050 Ti I included above to the GTX 1080 Ti if you are pushing the limits of graphics performance. 

If you try to stay within a reasonable budget, as I did above, you can build a from-scratch machine for under $1000 with some impressive specifications and capabilities. The GTX 1050 Ti will get you peak 1080p gaming capability while the 8-cores and 16-threads of the Ryzen 7 1700X will improve any workstation-class or multimedia workloads. 

Separately, but interestingly, the gang at 3DCenter.org posted the results of a survey taken about the Ryzen 5 processor launch, measuring the readers reactions to the release. In it, 83.9% of the audience looked upon the Ryzen 5 favorably, 9.4% as average and 6.7% negatively. If you compare that to the Ryzen 7 launch (74.6% favorable, 17.5% average, 7.9% negative) it seems that Ryzen 5 was better received than its big brother. But if you look back to October 2011 when the same survey was run about AMD Bulldozer, only 6.8% saw the CPU launch as favorable (!!). The last CPU launch that received nearly as positive a reaction as Ryzen 5/7 was the Sandy Bridge CPU back in January of 2011.

Umfrage-Auswertung-Wie-ist-der-Ersteindruck-zu-AMDs-Ryzen-5.png

Obviously this survey isn't a predictor of success or failure exactly, but it does point to an audience that is incredibly receptive to the new AMD processors. My own experience tells me that these numbers are fairly accurate to the mood about Ryzen, even after the 1080p gaming fiasco that circulates to this day. Interest and reaction are great for a company that needs to make in-roads in the market, but converting that consumer interest into purchases is the key for AMD going forward.

Qualcomm Launches Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms

Subject: Processors, Mobile | May 9, 2017 - 01:55 PM |
Tagged: spectra, snapdragon mobile platform, snapdragon, qualcomm, Kryo, isp, hexagon, dsp, adreno, 660, 630

Today Qualcomm took the covers off of an update to the Snapdragon 600 family of processors, now known as mobile platforms. The Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms are important products in the company’s portfolio as they address a larger segment of the consumer market than the premium-tier Snapdragon 800 while still offering performance and feature sets above the budget segments of the 400s. The Snapdragon 820 and 835 traditionally get all of the attention from media, the 600-series is at the heart of popular devices like the Sony Xperia X, Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra, HTC 10 Lifestyle and over 1000 more designs.

qcsd600-2.jpg

The biggest changes to both new platforms come in the form of LTE connectivity and GPU performance. In a bid to bring previously unseen capabilities to the 600-series of solutions, Qualcomm has taken the Snapdragon X12 LTE modem that shipped with the Snapdragon 820/821 SoC and integrated it on both the 660 and 630. This creates mainstream mobile platforms that can run Cat 12/13 modems and speeds as high as 600 Mbps downstream (3x carrier aggregation) and 150 Mbps upstream (2x carrier aggregation).

qcsd600-5.jpg

That is a significant move and should result in a massive amount of high speed devices saturating the market (and carriers’ networks) starting later this year. Along with that higher performance comes the same X12 feature set that we saw with Snapdragon 820/821 including adaptive antenna tuning capability (TruSignal) and dynamic signal quality adjustments for power efficiency optimizations.

qcsd600-6.jpg

The GPU performance of both the Snapdragon 660 and 630 get a boost over the previous competitors (653 and 626 respectively) though they do so with different Adreno implementations. The SD 660 uses the Adreno 512 GPU that offers up to 30% better performance compared to the Adreno 510 used on the SD 650 series. While we don’t have details yet on where that advantage comes from (clocks or core improvements), I have a feeling that much of it comes from improved frequencies. The Snapdragon 630 uses the Adreno 508 GPU, compared to the 506 from the SD 626 processor, and also claims to have a 30% performance advantage over the previous generation.

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Continue reading about the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platform!

Source: Qualcomm

The Gigabyte Aorus GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition 11G; worth the extra $50?

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 9, 2017 - 01:16 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, aorus, 1080 ti, Xtreme Edition 11G, factory overclocked

Gigabyte's Aorus branded GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition 11G just arrived on our Hardware Leaderboard, not in small part due to this review at The Tech Report.  The card utilizes the same triple fans moving air over five copper heat pipes combined with a mess of fins and a large copper plate as the non-Ti Xtreme card we have seen previously.  That cooler allows the card to be clocked at 1632MHz base, 1746MHz Boost with memory hitting over 2.8GHz right out of the box and with Afterburner you can reach even higher.  TR's testing shows that this does have a noticeable effect on performance compared to the Founder's Edition cards.

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"Aorus' GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition 11G promises to unshackle the GP102 GPU from the constraints of a reference board. We run this card through our gauntlet of performance and noise testing to see whether it's worth the premium over Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

Crazy, I'm crazy for feeling so buggy ... then Microsoft called it off

Subject: General Tech | May 9, 2017 - 12:43 PM |
Tagged: security essentials, security, microsoft, fud, endpoint, defender

You have probably already read about the bug which effects all Microsoft's security programs, from basic home apps like Defender through to professional level Forefront Security for SharePoint discovered by Google Project Zero researchers.  It was certainly a bad one, utilizing the act of scanning a file for malware as the infection vector, striking similar to the way some viruses hijack our own immune systems. 

The good news is that Microsoft started pushing out a fix for the bug on Monday; as the bug was hinted at publicly on Friday someone must have put in a long weekend.  This quick turnaround is very nice to see and demonstrates the usefulness of publicly announcing the existence of a threat, without revealing the details to the public immediately.  Bug bounty programs are a good thing but if they involve NDAs it can lead to delays in resolutions as there is little pressure on the software developers to push out an immediate fix.  As The Register states, responsibly disclosing the existence of a bug, especially a major one such as this, you get a quick turn around like we saw from Microsoft. 

Update if you got 'em!

8867.Microsoft_5F00_Logo_2D00_for_2D00_screen.jpg

"On the second point, well, we hate to break it to you but all software has bugs – especially Microsoft's code. There are any number of horrible remote code execution flaws in Windows and Office right now, sitting there waiting for white and black hats to find and exploit. Being told, yes, there is definitely a bad bug lurking in among the ones and zeroes doesn't make you less secure."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Register

GTC 17: NVIDIA Demos (Professional) Multi-User VR

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 9, 2017 - 07:01 AM |
Tagged: VR, quadro, nvidia, gp102

Four Quadro P6000s installed in a single server, which looks like a 4U rack-mounted box, are shown running four HTC Vive Business Edition VR systems through virtual machines. It isn’t designed to be a shipping product, just a demo for NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference that was developed by their engineers, but that should get the attention of this trade show’s attendees, who are mostly enterprise-focused.

nvidia-2017-fouruservrserver.png

For context, this system has roughly equivalent GPU horsepower to four Titan Xps, albeit with twice the RAM and slightly different clocks; there’s plenty of power per headset to harness. Still, running this level of high-performance application on a virtual machine could be useful in a variety of business applications, from architectural visualization to, as NVIDIA notes, amusement parks.

Given that it’s just a proof-of-concept demo, you’ll need to build it yourself to get one. They didn’t mention using any special software, though.

Source: NVIDIA

A keyboard for the accident prone, Zalman's Z-Machine K650WP

Subject: General Tech | May 8, 2017 - 02:22 PM |
Tagged: input, waterproof, zalman, aluminium, Z-Machine K650WP, keyboard

The K650WP is a membrane keyboard with a PS/2 plug and USB adapter so for those who need to click while they type you may want to skip this review.  For everyone else, the membrane design allowed Zalman to waterproof the keyboard by adding holes to allow spilled liquids to quickly drain away from the keys, as well as coating the aluminium stiffener inside with hydrophobic film and some strategically placed insulation.  TechPowerUp dumped the contents of a 250 mL water bottle into the keyboard to test this feature out and it worked a charm, they only wiped off the keys as the remainder of the liquid drained through the bottom and the keyboard continued to work.  At $27, even if you do manage to damage the keyboard you are not out a lot of money.  Check it out here.

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"The Z-Machine K650WP from Zalman is a membrane keyboard that comes in at a price point where there is really no competition from branded mechanical keyboards. At the same time, it offers a waterproof design, dedicated volume-control buttons, and an internal aluminum plate for structural rigidity, making it great value for the money."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: TechPowerUp

ASUS Republic of Gamers Launches Project Dream Machine

Subject: General Tech | May 8, 2017 - 01:05 PM |
Tagged: asus, ASUS ROG, behave, Project Dream Machine

The ASUS Republic Of Gamers is asking for your input on what you would like to see on their upcoming products and have opened up a thread on their forums which will be monitored by their staff.   Raja Koduri has responded to several posts relating to GPUs and other ASUS staff have responded to suggestions about other components. 

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By participating in Project Dream Machine, you not only get a chance to make suggestions about the capabilities and features you would like to see added to the next generation of products you might even have a chance to consult in the design process as well as being one of the first to bne able to use your suggested product.  Do keep your comments polite, they are asking for your suggestions, not your opinion on what others have suggested.  The more detailed and interesting your suggestions the more likely ASUS will continue to request input on their next generation of  products such as extra cooling, peripherals or even overclocking software.

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Fremont, CA (May 8, 2017) -- For more than a decade, Republic of Gamers (ROG) has delivered exemplary design and performance to the world’s best gamers and enthusiasts. Our ROG staff includes competitive players, hardcore overclockers, and general gaming and tech enthusiasts. From engineering to design to marketing, we share a passion for creating the best PC hardware for gamers — and ourselves. Our passion isn’t unique; many in the PC gaming and hardware communities have the same drive and enthusiasm, and we want to harness it to make better products that everyone can enjoy.

ASUS ROG Corporate VP Joe Hsieh summarizes the project well: “ROG’s main goal is to provide gamers with the ultimate gaming hardware, and we’re constantly striving to develop products that gamers need. We believe that great products start with great design, and great design always starts from an incredible idea. We want to hear what gamers want in their dream machine, and we’ll work towards making that dream come true.” Now, we want to know what you want. The Project Dream Machine forum thread is open for everyone to discuss their dream machine along with ideas for other ROG gear. It will be monitored by our staff, providing a direct link between the community and our internal R&D teams. This is your chance to influence the development of PC gaming hardware. We hope to make two community-driven products per year, and we’re excited to have you be a part of the process.

Source: ASUS

The winners of the first stage of The HackaDay Prize

Subject: General Tech | May 8, 2017 - 12:19 PM |
Tagged: hack, DIY, nifty

The first of the five rounds of The Hackaday Prize has completed and the winners announced.  This stage is the Design Your Concept stage, often the most important factor in determining the success of the build project you intend to sit out on.  The winners are an eclectic bunch, from heart monitoring devices to printing bones on a 3D printer to a hand portable braille printing press.  It is worth taking a look at these, even if the project does not strike your fancy you can learn a lot on how the create an effective design of a concept for your own projects.  There are still four more rounds to go so expect even more interesting designs over the coming weeks,

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"Today we’re excited to announce the winners of the Design Your Concept phase of The Hackaday Prize. These projects just won $1000 USD, and will move on to the final round this fall."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Hack a Day

Dell Executive Projects Five-Year Growth in Gaming PCs

Subject: General Tech | May 6, 2017 - 03:44 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming, dell

DigiTimes published a couple of statements from Dell’s senior vice president of Consumer Product Marketing, Raymond Wah, regarding the company’s view on the PC gaming industry. We’ll start with the two quotes, below.

Electronic sports (e-sports) and VR (virtual reality) are main growth drivers for gaming PCs, Wah said, adding gaming is becoming e-sports and this is a global trend. Continual gaming content updates push hardware developers to upgrade the specifications of gaming PCs, Wah indicated. The number of e-sports fans will increases to 145 million in 2017.

In line with gaming PC marketing, Dell has sponsored e-sports events and cooperated with movie producers, Wah indicated. Dell has also begun to set up gaming PC retail outlets at Best Buy chain stores in the US and plans to set up 50 outlets in total.

The article also mentions that he expects that the demand for gaming PCs will continue for five years, unlike the rest of the PC market, which is projected to shrink. It goes on to add that the company is pushing gaming products under two brands now, both Alienware and their general public-focused Inspiron line.

Dell-2015-Logo.png

Many of our readers are probably comfortable assembling their own PCs, but getting OEMs involved adds the whole segment of users who would be comfortable sacrificing cost or performance to offload that hassle. That’s a positive note that I think is often lost on PC enthusiasts. Just because shaving out middle-people makes the transaction more efficient, doesn’t mean that there’s no valid reason to pay a big OEM, or even a small business, local computer store, to handle it.

If he’s right, the next five-plus years should be good for us, too.

Source: DigiTimes

Rocket League Free Weekend and Sale

Subject: General Tech | May 5, 2017 - 07:13 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming

Just a quick note for our readers: Rocket League is having a free weekend, accompanied by a 30%-off sale. If you haven’t played the game, Steam says that you currently have one day and twenty hours (and 45 minutes) left to download, install, and play the title.

rocketleague-2017-promoss.jpg

The 30%-off promotion applies equally to the base game, the four-pack, and the Game of the Year edition. Each of these deals outlives the free weekend by a day, so you can spend Sunday afternoon deciding whether rocket-powered car-soccer is worth your hard-earned cash.

The free weekend ends at 4PM EDT on Sunday, while the sale goes until 1PM EDT on Monday.

Source: Steam

CORSAIR Announces GLAIVE RGB Mouse

Subject: General Tech | May 5, 2017 - 06:48 PM |
Tagged: corsair, glaive rgb, gaming mouse

A new mouse, with Omron-based mechanical switches, has been announced by CORSAIR. The GLAIVE RGB is right-handed asymmetric, so lefties (like myself) who are looking for a left-handed or ambidextrous mouse will need to look elsewhere. For right-handed users, however, it includes three different thumb grips, giving it a few different feels, although they don’t state the specific styles that each is supposed to cater to (if you are very particularly about your hand position during gaming). You will want to check out reviews to find that sort of info out.

The switches are rated to 50,000,000 clicks.

Corsair-2017-Glaive_BLK_10.png

The sensor is created by PixArt, model PMW3367 that, according to CORSAIR, has been customized in some way. The DPI ranges between 100 and 16,000, with the specific values stored on the mouse, within its 8MB of memory. This storage also saves lighting effects and macros, which should mean that, unlike Razer Synapse, you won’t have your button bindings flip a handful of seconds after boot. There are six programmable buttons on the device and the mouse wheel is made of aluminum with a rubber grip.

The CORSAIR GLAIVE RGB is available now. It’s currently listed for $69.99 on Amazon.

Source: CORSAIR

The exhibitionistic Corsair Crystal 460X RGB Compact ATX should not throw rocks

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 5, 2017 - 04:39 PM |
Tagged: tempered glass, RGB, crystal 460X, corsair

Both the front and side panel of Corsair's newest case are constructed of tempered glass, giving you an impressive view of the inside of your computer and the RGB LEDs on the cooling fans at the front.  At 480x234x512mm (18.9x9.2x20.2") it is a little more compact that other ATX compatible cases but still large enough to accept most components including a variety of radiators for watercoolers.  The PSU is located at the bottom, under a cover as are the bay for two 3.5" drives; three SSDs can be installed on the back side of the case.  [H]ard|OCP were quite enamoured with this case's looks and performance, and at $140 it is not overly expensive for a case with that much tempered glass.  That will leave you some money for the white gloves and glass cleaner you will need!

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"What do you do when a window just isn't enough? Corsair believes they have the answer in the Crystal 460X RGB case. The front and side are made of tempered glass giving you the ability to show off your pride and joy. Is it more than just a pretty face? Can the Crystal 460X RGB make a PC enthusiast happy?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5, a $200 base for a solid Ryzen system

Subject: Motherboards | May 5, 2017 - 02:05 PM |
Tagged: amd, ax370-gaming 5, gigabyte, x370, ryzen, aorus, RGB

Gigabyte's AX-370 Gaming 5 has a nice mix of high end features, though not as extensive as on some of the higher priced X370 models we have seen.  While you do get your lighting effects which can be controlled via the RGB Fusion app and a U.2 port in addition to the standard M.2 the VRM components are not as impressive as on some other flagship boards.  Hardware Canucks tested out the features as well as the performance in this review, it was easy to overclock and the Amp-Up onboard audio received a special commendation.

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"Our search to find the best Ryzen motherboard has landed on Gigabyte's AX370-Gaming 5. Not only does this board offer a ton of features but its price of under $199 is pretty appealing too."

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