All | Editorial | General Tech | Graphics Cards | Networking | Motherboards | Cases and Cooling | Processors | Chipsets | Memory | Displays | Systems | Storage | Mobile | Shows and Expos
Subject: General Tech | January 28, 2017 - 03:11 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: valve, pc gaming, steam
A little late on this one, but it’s been on my backlog for quite a while and I think it’s worthy of “public service announcement” status. Last week, Valve published a new Steam Client feature that allows users to relocate specific games to other folders. Just right-click on any installed games, click “Properties”, click the “Local Files” tab, then click “Move Install Folder...”.
So yeah, if you want to switch games to and from an SSD, the Steam Client can do it for you. You could always do it by shutting down Steam Client, moving the folder between two folders that Steam tracks, and restarting the client. I have experienced some situations where the Steam Client then looks at the files, determines that they’re invalid, and redownloads them. While I that just happened to align with a new patch or something, it’s a moot point now that Steam Client just does it for you.
So yeah, if you didn’t already find out about this: enjoy.
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 28, 2017 - 02:19 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: microsoft, DirectX, llvm, dxil, spir-v, vulkan
Over the holidays, Microsoft has published the DirectX Shader Compiler onto GitHub. The interesting part about this is that it outputs HLSL into DirectX Intermediate Language (DXIL) bytecode, which can be ingested by GPU drivers and executed on graphics devices. The reason why this is interesting is that DXIL is based on LLVM, which might start to sound familiar if you have been following along with The Khronos Group and their announcements regarding Vulkan, OpenCL, and SPIR-V.
As it turns out, they were on to something, and Microsoft is working on a DirectX analogue of it.
The main advantage of LLVM-based bytecode is that you can eventually support multiple languages (and the libraries of code developed in them). When SPIR-V was announced with Vulkan, the first thing that came to my mind was compiling to it from HLSL, which would be useful for existing engines, as they are typically written in HLSL and transpiled to the target platform when used outside of DirectX (like GLSL for OpenGL). So, in Microsoft’s case, it would make sense that they start there (since they own the thing) but I doubt that is the end goal. The most seductive outcome for game engine developers would be single-source C++, but there is a lot of steps between there and here.
Another advantage, albeit to a lesser extent, is that you might be able to benefit from performance optimizations, both on the LLVM / language side as well as on the driver’s side.
According to their readme, the minimum support will be HLSL Shader Model 6. This is the most recent shading model, and it introduces some interesting instructions, typically for GPGPU applications, that allow multiple GPU threads to interact, like balloting. Ironically, while DirectCompute and C++AMP don’t seem to be too popular, this would nudge DirectX 12 into a somewhat competent GPU compute API.
DXIL support is limited to Windows 10 Build 15007 and later, so you will need to either switch one (or more) workstation(s) to Insider, or wait until it launches with the Creators Update (unless something surprising holds it back).
The German offices of ZTE Mobile have announced (via their Facebook page) that the Android 7.0 update will be coming later in this quarter, which would be before the end of March. In November, this branch announced that the update would be coming in January. This update is supposed to bring Daydream to the handset, as this was one of the big promises that ZTE made about the device before it launched. They are not confident with it in its current state, though.
Our readers were asking about my opinion of the device, since I published a “Just Delivered” post about it four months ago. I said that I would wait until the Nougat release, which I was, at the time, expecting in October or November, because I had a feeling that ZTE envisioned the phone with that OS version. Since then, bugs have come and gone, most of which were relatively benign, like messing up whitespace in the lock screen’s current date. Personally, I started getting a bug where my camera would occasionally fail to focus, instead humming and blurring like it’s focusing in and out tens or hundreds of times per second until you close the app using the camera. (It started happening, off and on, just after the last service update, although it could just be a coincidental hardware issue with my unit. I’m waiting until I see it in Nougat to call customer support.)
Either way, it’s probably a good thing that ZTE is taking their time with this one. I’m guessing this update is when those who adopted the Axon 7 will begin to solidify judgments about the company as a higher-end phone vendor going forward.
Subject: General Tech | January 27, 2017 - 08:55 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: webgl, webgl2, firefox, chrome, google, mozilla, Opera
After quite a bit of anticipation, both Mozilla and Google have just shipped compatible implementations of WebGL 2. This feature was unlocked to the public in Firefox 51 and Chrome 56 for the desktop, both released this week, while Opera will push it out to desktop and mobile on their next version, Opera 43. Microsoft currently has the API “under consideration” for Edge.
As we’ve highlighted in the past, this new version of the graphics API pushes the platform up to OpenGL ES 3.0, with a few exceptions that are typically made for security reasons. This update allows quite a few new features like off-screen render targets, which is useful for deferred rendering. The shading language is also significantly larger, and can now operate natively on integer types and 3D textures.
WebGL 2.0 does not include compute shaders, however, which is a bit unfortunate. That said, it is (at least last I checked) a highly-requested feature and the browser vendors are interested in providing it.
Subject: General Tech | January 27, 2017 - 06:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Ars Technica takes a look at a recent breakthrough in projecting dynamic holograms which can be viewed from a wide variety of angles. This has been something which has been very difficult to achieve, for reasons which Ars articulates, but which researchers have managed to accomplish with the use of clouded glass. You usually see that type of glass used to obscure light, for instance to offer privacy when in the bathroom but when designed correctly it can instead act as a large number of lenses project a focused holographic image. There is still a lot of work to be done to scale the holograms to a size and resolution which would be attractive for commercial usage but you can read up on the current state of the research if you are curious.
"Sometimes it amazes me how fast physics goes from fundamental ideas to producing a new toy. The latest example comes from a bunch of experiments and theory on how opaque materials affect light passing through them, a topic that we have covered extensively in the past."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Serverless Front-End Deployments at GoDaddy @ Linux.com
- Google Pixel 2 could pack an Intel processor, according to shady leak @ The Inquirer
- Windows code-signing tweaks sure to irritate software developers @ The Register
- NEST Protect and NEST Learning Thermostat Review @ OCC
- Synology RT2600ac Wi-Fi Router @ Custom PC Review
- Classic puzzle adventure 'Myst' comes to Android @ Engadget
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 27, 2017 - 02:38 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers
Update: There are multiple issues being raised in our comments, including a Steam post by Sam Lantinga (Valve) about this driver breaking In-Home Streaming. Other complaints include certain applications crashing and hardware acceleration issues.
Original Post Below
Now that the holidays are over, we’re ready for the late-Winter rush of “AAA” video games. Three of them, Resident Evil VII, the early access of Conan Exiles, and the closed beta of For Honor, are targeted by NVIDIA’s GeForce 378.49 Game Ready drivers. Unless we get a non-Game Ready driver in the interim, I am guessing that this will cover us until mid-February, before the full release of For Honor, alongside Sniper Elite 4 and followed by Halo Wars 2 on the next week.
Beyond game-specific updates, the 378-branch of drivers includes a bunch of SLI profiles, including Battlefield 1. It also paves the way for GTX 1050- and GTX 1050 Ti-based notebooks; this is their launch driver whenever OEMs begin to ship the laptops they announced at CES.
This release also contains a bunch of bug fixes (pdf), including a reboot bug with Wargames: Red Dragon and TDR (driver time-out) with Windows 10 Anniversary Update. I haven’t experienced any of these, but it’s good to be fixed regardless.
You can pick up the new drivers from their website if, you know, GeForce Experience hasn’t already notified you.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 26, 2017 - 09:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: thermal paste, Arctic Silver, Arctic MX, cooler master, MasterGel Pro, CRYORIG, EKWB, thermal grizzly
Kitguru just tested seven thermal pastes; Arctic Silver 5 and Céramique 2, Cooler Master's MasterGel Pro, Cryorig CP15, EKWB Ectotherm and Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut. They wanted to see what performance difference, if any, existed between them for no matter how effective your cooler is, it can't dissipate heat that is not transferred to it from your CPU. Their test was conducted with a i7-4790K CPU and Cooler Master Hyper 212 LED CPU Cooler and the results show that the incumbent is not necessarily your best choice.
"Following on from our previous articles about fan configuration and static pressure vs airflow fans, today we are looking at thermal paste. Specifically, we are hoping to find out whether or not choosing different types of thermal paste actually makes any difference. To do this, we test 7 products from 6 companies to see how much difference thermal paste really makes."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Alphacool Eisbaer 360 Liquid CPU Cooling System Review @ NikKTech
- be quiet! Pure Base 600 Chassis @ Kitguru
- Jonsbo UMX4 @ techPowerUp
- Phanteks Enthoo Luxe Tempered Glass Edition Review @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | January 26, 2017 - 06:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, hololens
Microsoft seems to be exploring new territory, previously reserved for those who need a nice mouse or headphones with the pure sound of platinum. Their HoloLens has been available for several months and they have managed to sell several thousand of them in that time. Roger Walkden, the commercial lead for HoloLens spoke with The Register and stated that he is happy with the amount of sales so far. While you cannot expect a headset costing well over $2000 to have large commercial appeal, the pittance of sales of the HoloLens so far makes you wonder if they have misjudged the market. Then again, maybe we will be seeing Windows 11 Rhodium Exclusive Edition on offer for a select few.
"The Microsoft HoloLens, Judge Dredd-style "mixed reality" headset, went on sale in the UK last year, with the firm offering a developer-only version for £2,179, and an enterprised-focused model for £4,529."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- IBM old guard dropping like flies in POWER and cloud restructure @ The Register
- Cisco: We know what you all want – a $10,000 70in whiteboard with a $190/mo cloud sub @ The Register
- Security Updates Guide @ Microsoft
- Samsung's Galaxy S8 Will Feature a Headphone Jack, Desktop Dock, 'Infinity Display' and More, Says In-Depth Report @ Slashdot
- Google releases all-HTML5 Chrome 56 with extra encryption cues @ The Inquirer
- Tesoro Zone Balance Gaming Chair Review @ Techgage
- Tesla Vs. Edison @ Hack a Day
Subject: Storage | January 26, 2017 - 05:47 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Ultra HD, UHD, Pioneer, optical, drive, disc, blu-ray, BDR-S 11 J-X, BDR-S 11 J-BK, 5.25, 4k
Pioneer has announced a pair of new 5.25-inch optical drives (via their Japanese site), and both offer support for UHD Blu-ray playback. These (SATA III) drives are the BDR-S 11 J-BK and BDR-S 11 J-X, and their Ultra HD capability represents a "world's first" for a BD burner, according to Pioneer.
Image credit: Anandtech
There has been much discussion about support for UHD Blu-ray on the PC in the past year, and the technical capabilities of existing BDXL-compatible drives seemed to offer support for the current crop of UHD media. Unfortunately, the DRM requirements seem to involve the entire chain, and these new Pioneer optical drives support the required AACS 2.0 decryption. But this is just the tip of the iceberg with system requirements, as Anandtech lists what you will actually need to play back UHD Blu-rays on your computer:
- A PC that supports AACS 2.0 and Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX)
- An appropriate optical disk drive
- Software that handles UHD BD playback
- Windows 10
- A GPU that has an HDMI 2.0a output with HDCP 2.2 (and AACS2 supported by its driver, which eliminates current-gen standalone GPUs)
- A 4K TV/display that has an HDMI 2.0a input with HDCP 2.2
The software playback requirements are apparently handled via the included software, which Pioneer lists as PowerDVD 14 - though even the latest commercial version (PowerDVD 16) does not support UHD playback yet. It is possible that a custom version, or one previously unavailable to the public, has been included; as Pioneer specifically states that this included PowerDVD 14 software will allow you to "play Ultra HD Blu-ray such as movies, animation, music, Blu-ray, DVD-Video on your computer".
Image credit: Anandtech
The two models are differentiated by a more premium audio focus for the BDR-S 11 J-X (and correspondingly higher price, based on reported pricing, below), with this model offering the following audiophile-oriented enhancements:
"BDR-S 11 J-X displays the playback quality of the audio CD to be played back in four levels, and in the case of low quality, it carries the "audio CD check function" which displays the coping method such as setting change of this machine It is suitable for applications such as CD ripping and music playback. In addition, by applying the coating adopted also for high-end audio equipment to the disc tray to improve the vibration isolation performance, it also enhances heat dissipation by applying special paint to the interior and exterior of the enclosure, realizing high quietness and reliability..."
Pricing was not included in the official announcement, though Anandtech's report quotes (Japanese-language) PC Watch with pricing roughly equivalent to $200 US (BDR-S 11 J-BK) and $300 US (BDR-S 11 J-X) for the drives. Availability begins in late February in Japan.
Subject: Editorial | January 26, 2017 - 03:46 PM | AlexL
Tagged: Xbox Scorpio, podcast, Nintendo Switch, In Win 301, EVGA G3 850W, Das Keyboard Gaming, Chomecast
PC Perspective Podcast #434 - 01/26/17
Join us this week as we discuss Nintendo Switch, EVGA SuperNOVA 850w G3, Xbox Project Scorpio, Das Keyboard Gaming, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store (audio only)
- Google Play - Subscribe to our audio podcast directly through Google Play!
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader (audio only)
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Allyn Malventano, Josh Walrath, Jermey Hellstrom
Program length: 1:07:50
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 25, 2017 - 08:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: windforce, factory overclocked, GTX 1060 G1 GAMING 6G, GeForce GTX 1060, gigabyte
In their testing [H]ard|OCP proved that the Windforce cooler is not the limiting factor when overclocking Gigabyte's GTX 1060 G1 Gaming G6, even at their top overclock of 2.1GHz GPU, 9.4GHz memory the temperature never reached 60C. They did have some obstacles reaching those speeds, the cards onboard Gaming mode offered an anemic boost and in order to start manually overclocking this card you will need to install the XTREME ENGINE VGA Utility. Once you have that, you can increase the voltage and clocks to find the limits of the card you have, which should offer a noticeable improvement from its performance straight out of the box.
"We’ve got the brand new GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1060 G1 GAMING 6G video card to put through the paces and find out how well it performs in games and overclocks. We will compare its highest overclock with one of the best overclocks we’ve achieved on AMD Radeon RX 480 to put it to the test. How will it stand up? Let’s find out."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- GTX 1070 Overclocking Guide @ OCC
- Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140 GPU Cooler @ Kitguru
- OCC's Top 3 Video Cards of 2016 @ OCC
- Benchmarking Radeon Open Compute ROCm 1.4 OpenCL @ Phoronix
Subject: General Tech | January 25, 2017 - 07:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, xcom 2, the long war 2, Pavonis Interactive
Pavonis Interactive have come through once again for XCOM fans, with the release of the Long War 2 mod, available for download though Steam. It adds many things other than simply length to your game, such as an infiltration stage to missions which represents the amount of groundwork done by your team before the mission. If you can reach 100% then Advent forces will be at a disadvantage, if you do not have time to fully prepare you can expect to face stronger opposition. If you have enough active forces, you can choose to split them between two simultaneous mission instead of having to choose one mission while ignoring the other. If this peaks your curiosity, pop over to Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN for a deeper look into the changes this mod makes to XCOM 2.
"From the very first mission of The Long War 2, the stakes are different. Your enlarged squad isn’t doing anything as brash as blowing up an Advent statue; instead, they’ve managed to track down an under-strength patrol and are determined to take it down."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Unigine Needs Your Help Testing Out Their New Hardware Detection @ [H]ard|OCP
- Fedora vs. Ubuntu vs. openSUSE vs. Clear Linux For Intel Steam Linux Gaming Performance @ Phoronix
- Battlefield 1 They Shall Not Pass introduces the French army @ HEXUS
- The Banner Saga 3 now fluttering on Kickstarter @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Resident Evil 7 review: A new perspective, an old house, and a return to terror @ Ars Technica
- White Wolf bringing Werewolf: The Apocalypse to PC @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Wot I Think – Warhammer 40K: Sanctus Reach @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- The horror, the horror: Coppola announces Apocalypse Now video game @ Ars Technica
- Tekken 7 arrives on PC on 2nd June, PC specs revealed @ HEXUS
Subject: General Tech | January 25, 2017 - 06:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: apple, wine, linux, windows 10, mac
So much for your excuses, if you have sworn that you are abandoning Microsoft because of Windows 10 then start migrating to Mac or Linux and shrink their market share. Wine 2.0 just dropped, allowing you to continue to use your Windows programs and play your games on Mac or Linux. Shader Model 4 and 5 support has been improved, DX9, Direct3D 10 and Direct3D 11 all are improved or added for your visual enjoyment. If you want to make a statement to Microsoft then hit them where it hurts and head over to Slashdot to start your journey onto a competitors OS.
"It's finally here! After so many months of development and hard work, during which over 6,600 bugs have been patched, the Wine project is happy to announce today, January 24, 2017, the general availability of Wine 2.0. Wine 2.0 is the biggest and most complete version of the open-source software project that allows Linux and macOS users to run applications and games designed only for Microsoft Windows operating systems."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Chrome To Introduce Timer To Throttle Background Pages @ Slashdot
- Penguins force-fed root: Cruel security flaw found in systemd v228 @ The Register
- Furby Rickroll demo: What fresh hell is this? @ The Register
- Hello, This Is Yahoo Mail Security, This Is Not A Scam… @ Techgage
Subject: Systems | January 25, 2017 - 03:30 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: xbox one, xbox, Project Scorpio, microsoft
Digital Foundry received an Xbox Project Scorpio whitepaper from an anonymous source, although they were able to validate its authenticity. Basically, they sent it to their own, off-the-record sources who would have access to the same info, and those individuals confirmed it’s an official document that they’ve seen before. Of course, the trust bottlenecks through Digital Foundry, but they’re about as reputable as you can get in this industry, so that works.
Anywho, disclaimer aside, the whitepaper unveils a few interesting details about how Project Scorpio is expecting to provide higher performance. The most interesting change is what’s missing: the small, on-chip RAM (ESRAM). Microsoft claims that the higher global memory bandwidth removes the need to have it on Project Scorpio.
Digital Foundry is still a bit concerned that, while the 320 GB/s bandwidth might be enough, the latency might be a concern for compatibility. Personally, I’m not too concerned. Modern GPUs do a huge amount of latency-hiding tricks, such as parking whole shaders at global memory accesses and running other tasks while the GPU fetches the memory the original shader needs, swapping it back and finishing when it arrives. Also, the increased GPU performance will mean that the game has more room to be wasteful of GPU resources, since it only needs to perform at least as good as a regular Xbox One. I expect that there wouldn’t be enough round-trips to ESRAM for it to be a major slowdown when running on Project Scorpio (and its not-ESRAM).
Seriously, Wall-E with a Freddie Mercury 'stache.
Microsoft does suggest that developers make use of ESRAM on Xbox One and Xbox One S, though. Yes, don’t deliberately throw away performance on the slower machines just because that accelerator isn’t available on higher-end devices, like Project Scorpio or a gaming PC (heh heh heh).
Another point that Digital Foundry highlighted was that the actual number of rendered fragments (pixels that may or may not make it to screen) didn’t scale up by a factor-of-four (going from 1080p to 4K) in all cases. A first-party developer noticed a case where it was only a 3.5x scaling between the two resolutions. (This metric was actually rendered pixels, not even just GPU load, which would include resolution-independent tasks, like physics simulations.) I’m not exactly sure how the number of fragments decreased, but it could be due to some rendering tricks, like when Halo renders the background at a lower resolution. (Yes, I’m using Khronos verbiage; it’s less ambiguous.)
They also assume that Project Scorpio will use pre-Zen AMD CPU cores. I agree. It seems like Zen wouldn’t be around early enough to make production, especially when you consider the pre-release units that are circulating around Microsoft, and probably third-party developers, too.
Project Scorpio launches this holiday season (2017).
Subject: Storage | January 24, 2017 - 06:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: patriot, hellfire 480gb, NVMe, M.2, PCIe SSD, M.2 2280
Patriot brings you what should be Arthur Miller's favourite SSD, the Hellfire 480GB M.2 PCIe NVMe drive. The Tech Report recently published a review of this drive, comparing it to the dozens of SSDs they have recently tested, which is still a mere drop in the bucket that is the SSD market. The drive uses Phison's PS5007-E7 controller and 15nm MLC NAND from Toshiba, components familiar to anyone who spends a lot of time looking inside of SSDs and which can give a good estimate of the speeds to expect. With a sale price of about $230 it does not have to be the fastest NVMe drive in the world to be a great deal; read the full review to see if this might be the M.2 drive for you.
"Patriot joins the high-end storage fray with its first NVMe SSD, the Hellfire series. We run the 480GB version of this drive through our testing gauntlet to see whether it can keep up with the rest of the NVMe crowd."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- The 1TB WD Blue SSD @ Tech ARP
- Kingston SSDNow DC400 480GB SSD Review @ NikKTech
- Thecus N4810 4-Bay SMB and Enthusiast NAS @ eTeknix
- Noontec TerraMaster D4-310 4-Bay USB Type-C DAS @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | January 24, 2017 - 05:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: security, dropbox
Dropbox has been around long enough that you see it used in a variety of situations, sharing recipes, press releases and holiday snaps, all perfectly reasonable scenarios. Unfortunately you also see it used as an alternative to SFTP in business, as some clients and executives are less afraid of the pretty blue colours than they are of the folder lists and text that FTP programs present.
This can present a security problem and possible legal risk as the terms and conditions Dropbox sets may not exactly match what you and your client agreed to. Case and point today is the news that many users were gifted with a trip down memory lane as files deleted from Dropbox years ago suddenly made a reappearance. Dropbox states in their retention policy that files which are deleted should be unrecoverable after 30 days but it seems we have more proof that the Cloud never truly forgets. Think back to what you, or people you know, might have shared on Dropbox and consider it coming back to haunt you a decade down the line before you upload. You can follow the links from [H]ard|OCP back to the initial forum report and Dropbox's response.
"This article is merely entertaining if you stay within the headline, but it becomes disturbing once you get into the story and realize that Dropbox’s policy is to keep deleted files only for 30 days. Ever the cynic, I will go ahead and consider the possibility that the file hosting service has been consciously keeping files around forever."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Cisco's WebEx Chrome plugin will execute evil code, install malware via secret 'magic URL' @ The Register
- 3D print ASUS motherboard attachments on Shapeways
- Android phones could be vulnerable to a fricking WAP attack @ The Inquirer
- It's 2017 and 200,000 services still have unpatched Heartbleeds @ The Register
- Boffins explain why it takes your Wi-Fi so long to connect @ The Register
- How to Keep Hackers out of Your Linux Machine Part 3: Your Questions Answered @ Linux.com
- Apple Investigating Issue With AirPods Randomly Disconnecting During Calls @ Slashdot
- iOS 10.2.1 patches 11 WebKit flaws outed by Google's Project Zero @ The Inquirer
Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 24, 2017 - 12:01 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Omron, das keyboard
According to post-CES coverage from Tom’s Hardware, Das Keyboard is in the process of rebranding their gaming line from “Division Zero” to Das Keyboard Gaming. Das Keyboard is known for their productivity-focused keyboards, including their famous models with unlabeled keycaps. I’m guessing they realized that more gamers know of Das Keyboard than Division Zero, which this news is the first I’ve heard of it, although it’s possible that they changed their branding for a completely different reason.
Image Credit: Tom's Hardware.
(Das Keyboard hasn't updated their website yet...)
They are also announcing a new keyboard, the Das Keyboard X50 Gaming Mechanical Keyboard, which uses switches from Omron. If this company name rings a bell, they are the provider of switches for several of Logitech’s mechanical keyboards as well as mechanical switches for several mice, including a few models from Logitech, Razer, Steelseries, and others. This keyboard’s brand of switches is called “Gamma Zulu” and Das Keyboard claims that they are manufactured on a production line that is entirely separate from Logitech's Romer-G. There will be two models, one with a bump and another with a click, both of which will apparently be called “Gamma Zulu”.
As for the keyboard itself, it has three macro keys up in the top right, by the volume knob. Tom’s Hardware points out how odd these two decisions are, and I agree. Still, it might be very good for a left-handed gamer that still uses the arrow keys, despite pressure from game developers to pretend to be a Tyrannosaurus rex / Thriller zombie with our hands crushed up to the left, right elbow in our chest. (Thankfully, I have a big desk, so I can just slide my keyboard to the right.)
Yes, I used to look kind-of stupid playing Battlefield 2.
Especially when I bunny-hopped.
Yes, I bunny-hopped. Stop complaining and use a shotgun or something.
If you were a fan of the Das Keyboard X40 Gaming, formerly called the Division Zero X40 Pro, then you can still buy another one. Das Keyboard expects to produce both models in parallel, targeting the lower-end gaming market with the lower-numbered version and its Alpha-Zulu switches, its lack of a volume knob, and its left-side macro keys.
Tom’s Hardware claims that the X50 will sell for $180 MSRP when it launches in Q2.
Subject: Mobile | January 23, 2017 - 08:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, dominator pro, GT62VR 7RE Dominator Pro, gaming laptop, 4k gsync
MSI takes their Dominator series of laptops seriously and the new Kaby Lake model is no exception. The GSYNC IPS display is natively 4k and the 8GB GTX 1070 should drive it at 60Hz without issue, or you could skip the monitor and go straight to VR as the required ports are present. The CPU is an i7-7820HK, with 32GB of DDR4-2400 in a dual channel configuration and Samsung provided an M.2 500GB SSD rated at 540MB/s read, 520MBs write, with a 1TB HDD for extra storage. It weighs in at almost 3kg (6.4lbs) so it is not as heavy as you might expect, though the 230W power adapter may add a few straws to that load. eTeknix tired it out to see how effective it was at replacing a gaming desktop, you can see the results and photos of the internals right here.
"MSI’s gaming laptops have gained a special status for their gorgeous sense of style and astounding features. It’s no surprise that the latest data puts their firmly in the lead as the world’s most successful gaming laptop manufacturer. Honestly, it’s thoroughly deserved and I’m pleased to see the MSI pushing the technical envelope further and making laptops a true alternative to traditional desktops."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
More Mobile Articles
- Razer Blade Laptop with GTX 1060 @ Kitguru
- Google Pixel Smartphone @ Hardware Secrets
- HTC U Ultra hands-on @ The Inquirer
- Everything About Lenovo Phab2 Pro @ Hardware Secrets
Subject: General Tech | January 23, 2017 - 07:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, steelseries, apex M500, mechanical keyboard, cherry mx red, cherry mx blue
SteelSeries offers their Apex M500 mechanical keyboard in Cherry MX Blue and Red flavours, so if you are a fan of Brown switches you are out of luck. The colourblindness also extends to the LEDs, which can only do blue, however that blue is rather rich as there is a blue backplate underneath the keys to enhance the look. The Tech Report appreciated that the software for this keyboard is entirely optional, if you have no plans on creating macros you can skip it altogether; those who do create macros will have no troubles setting up their preferred programming. Pop on by for a full look at the review.
"SteelSeries' Apex M500 keyboard ditches RGB LED backlighting and complicated software for a simple look and feel pinned on the quality typing experience of Cherry MX Red or MX Blue switches. We got in many hours of gaming on this board to see whether it lives up to its $100 price tag."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Corsair K95 Platinum Keyboard @ techPowerUp
- ASUS Republic of Gamers Claymore Keyboard @ Kitguru
- Vortex CORE Keyboard @ techPowerUp
- ThunderX3 TM50 By Aerocool Mouse @ Kitguru
- Corsair Scimitar Pro Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
- Creative Sound BlasterX Siege M04 Gaming Mouse @ eTeknix
- Roccat Kone EMP Gaming Mouse @ techPowerUp
Subject: General Tech | January 23, 2017 - 05:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: SSL, security, symantec
Symantec may not have chosen their partners wisely as once again we see some questionable SSL certs being released into the wild by one of their audited partners. For a while last week, some rather questionable domains had Symantec issued SSLs, offering a wide variety of possible attack vectors for anyone nefarious enough to take advantage of the fact. Thankfully this does not happen often, though The Inquirer points out that it is nothing new, as it casts doubt on how secure an SSL site actually is. Symantec promises to investigate what happened and release that information publicly; we can only hope they also learn from it.
"Andrew Ayer of certificate vendor and wrangler SSLMate went public with his discovery last week. The mis-issued certs were issued for example.com, and a bunch of variations of test.com (test1.com, test2.com and so on)."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Android Device's Pattern Lock Can Be Cracked Within Five Attempts, Researchers Show @ Slashdot
- Norwegians forced to stop using Windows Phones because there aren't any @ The Inquire
- Microsoft set to ditch another 700 jobs across the board this week @ The Inquirer
- One BEEELLION dollars: Apple sues Qualcomm, one of its chip designers @ The Register