Analogue supplies the truest input on Cooler Master's MK850

Subject: General Tech | March 15, 2019 - 04:41 PM |
Tagged: MK850, analogue, cooler master, gaming keyboard, aimpad, input

We've seem Aimpad's analogue input in action before, on other Cooler Master products as well as a Wooting one.  Cooler Master has released the MK850 which utilizes this technology, along with providing RGBs for you to gaze longingly at.  You might have noticed that there are more than a few keys on this board, the extras allow you to toggle analogue input off and on as well as modifying the sensitivity of the keys which do have analogue capability, the Q, W, E, R, A, S, D, and F specifically.  M1 through M5 allow you different profiles for different games.

Take a gander at the full review The Tech Report posted if you are interested.

cooler master mk850 1_result.jpg

"Forget, for a moment, what the Cooler Master MK850 looks like. Forget about its RGB lighting, its brushed metal top, its many keys and buttons, and the software that comes with it, because none of those things make it a keyboard of consequence. The only thing we really care about is whether or not the MK850 can deliver on the tantalizing promise of analog keyboard input for gaming."

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A peek at MSI's new RTX powered laptops

Subject: General Tech | March 15, 2019 - 03:46 PM |
Tagged: msi, gaming laptop, rtx, E75 Raider RGB 8SG, GL73 8SE, GS75 Stealth 8SG, P75 Creator

Kitguru wasn't able to run benchmarks on MSI's four new laptops yet but they did get a chance to check them out and posted a video overview.  The E75 Raider RGB 8SG, GL73 8SE, GS75 Stealth 8SG, and P75 Creator all contain either a RTX 2060, 2070 or 2080 as well as an Intel Intel Core i7-8750H and a variety of NVMe storage options. 

Head on over for a tour.

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"Earlier in the week, I took a trip down to Leo’s studio where I was joined by Natalie McMorrow from MSI, who took us through an overview of some of the upcoming gaming laptops that MSI will have to offer. We also managed to get a sneak preview of a completely different type of laptop made specifically for content creators."

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Source: Kitguru
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Razer

Razer is never one to shy away from reinventing and refreshing its products. Every year or two, we find ourselves receiving a new press release on a familiar item that’s been updated or made new again with a fresh feature or new design. Today’s review is exactly one such item with the Razer Basilisk Essential. The design of the original Basilisk proved to be quite popular amongst gamers. Today’s update takes that same shape and intriguing multi-function paddle and trims it down to the titular essentials, landing at just under the fifty-dollar price point.

Is it worth adding to your Amazon wishlist? Join us as we find out!

Specifications

  • Current Pricing: $49.99
  • Sensor: 6400 DPI Optical Sensor
  • Gaming Grade Tactile Scroll Wheel
  • Multi-function paddle (single length)
  • Razer Mechanical Switches
  • 20 Million Click Lifespan
  • 7 programmable buttons
  • Customizable backlit logo
  • Weight: 95g

Razer_Basilisk_Essential_1.jpg

Starting, as always, with packaging, Razer is keeping to the mold here. We have the usual high-end product shot on the front and the specific feature highlights on the back. Inside, we see the first hints of the budget-oriented nature of the mouse in that it ships in a brown cardboard tray and styrofoam sleeve. This kind of packaging is perfectly fine, and transports the mouse safely, but it doesn’t offer the same kind of presentation found on some of Razer’s more expensive products.

Razer_Basilisk_Essential_2.jpg

Continue reading our review of the Razer Basilisk Essential gaming mouse

It's a good day to be running an AMD APU, unless you like updating iGPU drivers

Subject: General Tech | March 14, 2019 - 12:08 PM |
Tagged: Intel, security, patch, igp

Today there are patches for no less than 19 vulnerabilities on Intel graphics drivers for Windows of various flavours.  Sysadmins out there should also pay attention, as there are  vulnerabilities specific to server chips as well, with patches for a variety of features up to and including the Trusted Execution Engine; if you are using a desktop chip with these features you should also pay attention.  The only silver lining to this is that the vulnerabilities require an already compromised machine to be exploited ... or physical access of course.

You can read through the synopsis of these CVEs over at The Register if you want to ruin your Thursday.

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"Chipzilla's March patch dump is highlighted by fixes for 19 CVE-listed vulnerabilities in its graphics drivers for Windows. If you use Windows and have those drivers (and if you're running an Intel CPU with integrated GPU, you almost certainly do) you will want to patch sooner than later."

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Source: The Register

PC Perspective Podcast #536 - GTX 1660, NVIDIA & Mellanox, DirectX 12 on Windows 7, and More!

Subject: General Tech | March 14, 2019 - 11:25 AM |
Tagged: video, podcast, phoenix point, Mellanox, halo, gtx 1660, DirectX 12, corsair

PC Perspective Podcast #536 - 3/13/2019

Join us this week as we review the new NVIDIA GTX 1660 and a high-end case from Corsair, discuss NVIDIA's Mellanox acquisition, get excited over Halo for PC, and more!

Subscribe to the PC Perspective Podcast

Check out previous podcast episodes: http://pcper.com/podcast

Show Topics
00:00:06 - Intro
00:03:47 - Review: NVIDIA GTX 1660
00:22:22 - Review: Corsair Crystal Series 680X RGB Case
00:37:48 - News: NVIDIA Acquires Mellanox
00:47:58 - News: DirectX 12 for Windows 7
00:53:25 - News: Halo: The Master Chief Collection for PC
00:58:21 - News: Windows 10 KB4482887 Issues & Fix
01:00:40 - News: AMD Navi Launch Date Rumors
01:02:29 - News: Navi GPU Benchmarks?
01:10:03 - News: Phoenix Point Jumps Ship to Epic Games Store
01:25:22 - News: Samsung eMRAM for IoT
01:30:12 - News: The Web's 30th B-Day
01:34:40 - News: Corsair Carbide Series 678C Low-Noise Case
01:37:38 - Picks of the Week

Picks of the Week
Jim: Humble Strategy Bundle 2019
Jeremy: Firefox Send
Josh: Resident Evil 2

Today's Podcast Hosts
Sebastian Peak
Josh Walrath
Jeremy Hellstrom
Jim Tanous

Phoenix Point suffers Epic mission creep

Subject: General Tech | March 13, 2019 - 01:56 PM |
Tagged: phoenix point, gaming, epic games, Snapshot Games

Fans of the original X-COM will soon have a reason to visit the Epic Games Store, as not quite released yet Phoenix Point will be sold there, exclusively.  For those backers who cannot bear the idea of creating an account, you can request a refund but if you don't you will get a years worth of DLC for free, not that we know as of yet what those additions may be.  The offer does suggest that Snapshot Games is getting a good deal as the crowdfunding campaign fell short of a few reach goals which might be an indication of what the contents of the DLC will be.  If you didn't back the game and are still interested you will be able to pick it up for around $40. 

Drop by Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN for a look at the video announcement of this decision.

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"Phoenix Point will launch exclusively on the Epic Games Store now for £36, although they are offering refunds for those who absolutely wanted the game on Steam or GOG. You can find its official site here."

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AMD's new 66AF:F1 GPU, a model number inspired by the USB-IF?

Subject: General Tech | March 13, 2019 - 12:53 PM |
Tagged: navi, amd, leak, AMD 66AF:F1

It's not the leak that many were hoping for, regardless it is still a peek at what Navi may offer when released.  The Inquirer spotted a mysterious AMD 66AF:F1 GPU attached to some Compubench compute results that could be a Navi GPU.  If that is indeed what it is then the new GPU will offer mid-range performance, as opposed to competing against NVIDIA's current family of high end cards.  It is rather telling that the Bitcoin Mining benchmark was not run, as we have seen in recent financial reports that bubble has pretty much burst.

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"In leaked benchmarks on CompuBench, the compute performance of the mysterious GPU suggested that it lags a little behind the Vega 56 and is more on par with the Radeon RX 580."

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Source: The Inquirer

ESA Winter 2019 Raised $30,080 for Save The Children

Subject: General Tech | March 12, 2019 - 06:12 PM |
Tagged: esa, speedrun, charity

It’s been a few weeks since the European Speedrunner Assembly (ESA) Winter 2019 marathon ended, although the organizers have, just last Thursday, announced the results in a press release. Combining both streams, the event raised $30,080 USD in the six days that it ran. All of this money went to Save The Children.

Moreover, ESA Winter 2019 was the first event from the group that was sold-out.

esa-2019-logo.png

In previous years, ESA had sponsors that did donation matching up to some amount; I distinctly remember something like a 10:1 multiple a couple of years ago. As far as I can tell, that was not the case this time, so that was all contributed by the fans, including the runners and attendees.

Two more events are planned for this year. In April, on the 13th and the 14th, ESA will be at TwitchCon Europe. ESA Summer 2019 will take place from July 19th through July 28th, which is about a month after Summer Games Done Quick 2019 (June 23rd to June 30th).

Source: ESA

Halo: The Master Chief Collection Coming to PC

Subject: General Tech | March 12, 2019 - 05:48 PM |
Tagged: steam, pc gaming, microsoft, halo

At today’s Inside Xbox event, Microsoft announced that Halo: The Master Chief Collection is coming to PC on both Steam and the Microsoft Store. Not all games will launch simultaneously; in fact, no pricing or release dates have been announced. The only thing we have is the release order.

halo-2019-masterchiefcollection.jpg

  1. Halo: Reach
  2. Halo: Combat Evolved (Anniversary)
  3. Halo 2 (Anniversary)
  4. Halo 3: ODST – Campaign Only
  5. Halo 3
  6. Halo 4

This fills in everything between Halo 3 and Halo 4, inclusive, and reads so weird now that I have that typed out in front of me, on the PC platform. Also, Halo 1 and Halo 2 are, as far as I know, essentially dead for multiplayer reasons now that GameSpy and Games for Windows Live have been shut down for a dog’s age. It could be a good nostalgia trip to play those games again.

microsoft-2017-xbox-e3-xboxlives.png

And, yes, I owned a copy of Halo 2: Vista. I was intending to create mods for it until I noticed that their tools were so unbelievably broken that their own example map was impossible to make, at least on release although I am pretty sure that it was never fixed. (They removed the ability to make individual assets and they forgot to include jump pads. Granted, jump pads were not a super-critical feature, but it was also the perfect illustration of how little they cared about mod support.)

Venting past grievances aside, Halo has a good game flow with its relatively slow movement and shields. I am actually excited for it again. It might even be my go-to game if they allow mods again, which I strongly doubt.

Uh... WoW... World of Warcraft DirectX 12 on Windows 7

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | March 12, 2019 - 04:53 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming, wow, blizzard, microsoft, DirectX 12, dx12

Microsoft has just announced that they ported the DirectX 12 runtime to Windows 7 for World of Warcraft and other, unannounced games. This allows those games to run the new graphics API with its more-efficient framework of queuing work on GPUs, with support from Microsoft. I should note that the benchmarks for DirectX 12 in WoW are hit or miss, so I’m not sure whether it’s better to select DX11 or DX12 for any given PC, but you are free to try.

microsoft-2015-directx12-logo.jpg

This does not port other graphics features, like the updated driver model, which leads to this excerpt from the DirectX blog post:

How are DirectX 12 games different between Windows 10 and Windows 7?
Windows 10 has critical OS improvements which make modern low-level graphics APIs (including DirectX 12) run more efficiently. If you enjoy your favorite games running with DirectX 12 on Windows 7, you should check how those games run even better on Windows 10!

Just make sure you don’t install KB4482887? Trollolololol. Such unfortunate timing.

Of course, Vulkan also exists, and has supported Windows 7 since its creation. Further, both DirectX 12 and Vulkan have forked away from Mantle, which, of course, supported Windows 7. (AMD’s Mantle API pre-dates Windows 10.) The biggest surprise is that Microsoft released such a big API onto Windows 7 even though it is in extended support. I am curious what lead to this exception, such as cyber cafés or other international trends, because I really have no idea.

As for graphics drivers? I am guessing that we will see it pop up in new releases. The latest GeForce release notes claim that DirectX 12 is only available on Windows 10, although undocumented features are not exactly uncommon in the software and hardware industry. Speaking of undocumented features, World of Warcraft 8.1.5 is required for DirectX 12 on Windows 7, although this is not listed anywhere in the release notes on their blog.

Source: Microsoft