be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


When it comes to CPU coolers there are no shortage of options, in fact it can be quite a headache trying to find the right one for your system. With water cooling now cheaper than ever, and air cooling still pushing forward with innovative designs that have pushed performance up and prices down, not to mention the wide range of sizes, shapes and a dozen other factors that can make each one unique from the last. be quiet! have one important focus on their coolers that sets them apart from the crowd, and they’re already a world-renowned brand for their ultra quiet performance products. It’s their ambition for quiet performance that has earned them a solid reputation among system builders, gamers and many other sections of the PC building / owning world. Offering up some of the quietest products on the market has long been their goal and they’ve succeeded time and time again, especially since their quiet performance is often backed up by superb cooling capabilities, pretty much the two best qualities you could ask for from a CPU cooler.

When it comes to picking your new CPU cooler, thermal performance is obviously a top priority, having a cooler that is also quiet is a welcome second priority, followed by build quality and aesthetics. be quiet! have proven before that they can tick all these boxes with their products, so they’re a premium choice for any system builder and that’s often reflected in the premium price tag of the be quiet! product range, but as they saying goes “you get what you pay for”. The Dark Rock Pro 3 cooler that we have in the office today is the new top dog of the be quiet! range, intended to be their best ever cooling product and today I’ll be expecting nothing short of excellence from this cooler. With prices edging over £70 from most major online retailers, this is a premium class product and it’s already treading into water cooling territory at this price range, so it’s going to have to be pretty special to compete with that market.

As you can see from the specifications below, it’s rather well equipped with support for a wide range of AMD and Intel socket types, two SilentWings fans (1 x 120mm & 1 x 135mm), aluminium construction and 7 x 6mm heat pipes.

The packaging is packed full of specifications (as above) and details about the product compatibility, but we’ll take a closer look at all of this shortly.

It’s really well packaged thanks to some soft foam blocks which cover each side of the cooler, which should be more than enough to keep it protected in transit.

In the box you’ll find a small bag of components, an installation guide and of course the cooler its self, which comes with the two fans pre-installed.

In the bag you’ll find an extra set of fan clips, handy for those who want to add a third fan to the cooler, all the screw bolt and brackets for both Intel and AMD sockets and a very durable metal backplate with two soft foam pads on the back of it.

BitFenix Reveal Fury PSU Series

BitFenix has just revealed their latest PSU product range, which not only pack plenty of power for the modern gamer, but also some gorgeous aesthetics that set them apart from the competition. The Fury Power Supply Series features all the top components we have come to expect from a high-end, high-quality power supply product, this includes all Japanese capacitors, 80 Plus Gold level efficiency, and one of my favourite features of the range, high quality sleeved cables.

With the modding world setting a high standard for custom sleeve cables, BitFenix has taken their “one of a kind” (BitFenix’s words) Nanosleeve braiding and applied it to each individual cable, giving a very nice aesthetic edge to the Fury range. The full range is semi-modular, but the main motherboard cables are also sleeved, whilst the modular cables are also black sleeved with black connectors for a nice uniform look.

Both the top and the bottom of the PSU have a stamped BitFenix logo and aluminium ring accent, giving you the choice to mount in either way in your chassis, but still maintaining the sleek style that it offers. The whole unit is complimented with a high quality matte powder-coat finish.

Advanced Performance – Even a good looking power supply is no use if it doesn’t deliver on a technical level. That’s why Fury utilizes advanced features to meet the power needs of the modern PC. 80PLUS certification ensures up to 90% efficiency for maximum cost savings over time. Single rail power delivery provides optimum power to system components that need it most, while active power factor correction smooths out ripples for clean and steady power for the system. “

The fury range is available in three formats, the 550G, the 650G and the most powerful of the range, the 750G. All of which will be available from most major online retailers and high street store next month.

Thank you BitFenix for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of BitFenix.

WatchDogs Now Available In New GeForce GTX Bundle

Watch Dogs is almost upon the gaming masses and it was only a matter of time before it was snapped up to be part of a hardware selling bundle. As of today, anyone who purchases a brand new Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 or 660 or above, for both the 700 and 600 series of cards will get a free coupon for Watch Dogs.

Be careful though as not all retailers are included in this deal, so it may be worth shopping around to make sure you’re getting the best return on your investment. Chances are that if you’re buying a brand new graphics card, you’re doing so to play the latest games and getting one included in the box can be a great way of saving money.

If you want to get a full list of retailers that are running the deal, Nvidia has put up a help page here.

We’re really looking forward to Watch Dogs this year, it’s been hyped up beyond all belief, so fingers crossed that Ubisoft can deliver the goods come release day.

Thank you VideoCardz for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of VideoCardz.

Incredible Unreal Engine 4 Engine Tech Demos Now Available For Download

Remember the truly incredible Unreal Engine 4 technology demo which launched last year? Well know you can download it, as well as several other impressive graphics technology demos to try out for yourself. Not only are the demos technically impressive, but they also offer us gamers a first hand look at how the engine can bring improvements to our games, most important of which are the massive advancement in global lighting.

The Elemental tech demo isn’t the exact same one we say in the trailers, it looks like it has been cobbled together by a few developers just to let us have a quick tinker and sneaky peak at the new engine. There is no installer, but you can extract the files for the demo and modify the launch settings via a very easy to understand .ini file. Remember to install the VC++ 2013 runtime that is included in the downloads too, if you haven’t already. From that point on you just run the required batch file in the folder and enjoy the stunning graphics.

Remember that Unreal Engine 4 scales really well, so it should run on some slightly older hardware, but you’re really only going to see the full benefits of these demos on newer hardware (eg; GTX 6xx / AMD 7xxx and up) as that will be capable of the effects being generated.

Download for Elemental Tech Demo

Download for Five More Tech Demos

Remember there will be a few rough edges here, these aren’t final gaming products and I’ve seen people crying out about texture quality on some parts. This isn’t a sales pitch, the software is there to demonstrate the processing that is going on in the scenes, so those of you with a tiny understanding of the workings of game engines will enjoy it more.

Thank you Techpowerup for providing us with this information.

Silverstone Tundra Series TD03 CPU Water Cooler Review

Introduction


The Silverstone Tundra TD03 is one of the most unusual 120mm water coolers I’ve seen, it stands out in a market that is crowded by Asetek water coolers that are all pretty much identical. Silverstone have a legendary reputation for their engineering prowess and there’s no way they’re going to import a 3rd party design for their cooler. It was this unique design that meant I had to get one in for review, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about and I really wanted to see if Silverstones design was better than all the other models that are available on the market these days.

Water cooling is big business these days, what was once the plaything of the enthusiast system builder can now be bought as an off-the-shelve product, installed with ease thanks to the closed loop / all-in-one designs and in many cases you can find a good 120mm water cooler for less than a high-end air cooler. Water cooling has a lot of benefits, it can often cool more efficiently, it’s got great potential for overclocking and many water-cooled systems are quieter than their air-cooled counterparts.

The Tundra Series TD03 is an all-in-one cooler with a closed loop design, so it doesn’t need re-filling or require any special maintenance aside from an occasional dusting. It’s a little on the expensive side at £85 shipped, but if the build quality and performance are as good as previous Silverstone products I have tested, then it should be worth every penny. Of course if the performance isn’t that great, then this is a very expensive 120mm water cooler.

As you can see from the specifications below it comes fitted with a copper base and a nickel-plastic aluminium unibody, a nice change from all the plastic that often features on AIO water coolers. There are two high quality 120mm fans included that run from a 4-pin PWM cable.

On the front of the box we have a quick rundown of the major features and socket support, pretty much ever major AMD and Intel socket in recent history is supported. You’ll also notice a hole in the box, that was my fault (whoops).

Around the back we have an international break down of the same details we saw on the front of the box.

The cooler is nicely packed with protective covers on all the major components, will plenty of space and packaging between each so that they don’t get shaken around during transit.

In the box you’ll find everything you need to get the cooler installed in your system, including some very nicely finished screws and bolts, thermal paster, a back-plate with the retention clips pre-installed, a Y split fan cable, some spacers, AMD mounting arms and some sticky contact pads.

Titan Z Launch Delayed As Nvidia Attempt To Beat The AMD 295X2’s Performance

It looks like Nvidia has put the brakes on the Titan Z release! The card was literally supposed to launch today, but now the card may have been delayed so Nvidia can tweak its performance, making it faster than the AMD Radeon R9 295X2. Clock speeds on the new Nvidia hardware have been in question lately, no one seemed too fussed as we knew it was going to be high, but now it looks like the new card was in fact 180MHz lower than the 780 Ti, meaning it couldn’t compete with the R9 295X2.

I suspect performance wise it would beat the 295X2 in certain tests, but a bigger performance number sell hardware and Nvidia know this. If they’re going to charge twice as much as AMD  Will they just up the clocks on their card to meet the requirements set by the new AMD hardware? Who knows, but one thing we do know is that Nvidia won’t go down without a fight.

The Titan Z does of course have one thing that no other GPU can claim, a 12GB frame buffer from it’s 7000Mhz memory over a 384-bit bus, which is nothing short of incredible, especially compared to the (still very impressive) 8GB 5000 Mhz memory of the R9 295X2.

It will be interesting to see how this turns out, will Nvidia boost the clocks, change some physical hardware or perhaps lower the price? Who knows, but I sure can’t wait to find out.

Thank you VideoCardz for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of VideoCardz.

 

8″ Floppy Marked “Top Secret” An Integral Part Of US Nuclear Security!?

This week saw CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Leslie Stahl with a look of surprise on her face after discovering that part of the computer system for Minuteman III requires data from an 8-inch floppy disk. What is wrong with that you ask? Well Minuteman III is the intercontinental ballistic missile defence system, a core component to the US nuclear deterrent system.

The 8-inch floppy disk format has been out of use for a very long time now, even it’s smaller and sleeker brothers such as the 3.5″ floppy drive you may have had on your computer 10 years ago has now become all but extinct. What’s even funnier is that the disk was marked with “Top Secret”, and the data on the disc is a vital component for the launch command delivery system for US missile forces. In fact, many of the systems that Stahl saw at the Wyoming US Air Force launch control center (LCC) are as old as the 8-inch floppy, dating way back to the 60’s and 70’s. Of course the lesson here is that if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

“A few years ago we did a complete analysis of our entire network,” said CBM forces commander Major General Jack Weinstein when speaking with 60 Minutes. “Cyber engineers found out that the system is extremely safe and extremely secure in the way it’s developed.” he added.

The Air Force base is currently upgrading their systems with a $19 million budget, with an additional $600 million next year. The old equipment has been doing a great job so far, but I’m not so sure I would want to keep sensitive information on such an ageing format, especially not information that is so important to national security and defense.

Thank you Arstechnica for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Arstechnica.

Kingston & QPAD Join Forces To Create HyperX Cloud Headset

Kingston, who are better known for the memory and storage products than audio, have teamed up with QPAD to create their new headset, the HyperX Cloud. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Kingston team up to make a headset, it was only last year that SteelSeries and Kingston launched an exclusive edition of the Siberia headset. The HyperX Cloud Gaming Headset isn’t even the first HyperX collaboration we’ve seen this week, as a few days ago we discovered Asus and HyperX are joining forces for the HyperXpress SSD.

The new headset looks pretty robust, featuring plenty of thick memory foam padding on the ear cushions and its leather-padded headband, and the whole thing has been custom stiched to give it an extra touch of style. The velour ear cushions are interchangeable, giving you a choice of coverings to suit your personal style and preferences. With large 53mm driver, the HyperX Cloud should be able to pack quite a punch in terms of audio performance, and it comes with a durable aluminium construction detachable microphone.

“HyperX worked with Swedish manufacturer QPAD to create a headset that delivers comfort and superb sound for long game play. This is a winning combination as QPAD is known for high-quality gaming peripherals throughout Europe,” said Lawrence Yang, business manager, HyperX. “We think the hours will pass by without notice as gamers wear the HyperX Cloud headset.”

The new headset will be compatible with PC, PlayStation 4 and mobile devices, it is now also the official headset of the Intel Extreme Masters, Alliance Gaming, CNB eSports Club, SK-Gaming and Team Liquid.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp.

3-D Printed Casts Set to Speed Up Bone Recovery After Break or Fracture

Since its early days 3D printing has come one heck of a long way, both in terms of its physical abilities, but also the cost of manufacturing along with the cost of purchasing the required hardware. Some examples of where 3D printing has made huge breakthroughs includes NASA utilising it on the space station to print out spare components, manufacturers using it to print bespoke products and in the latest twist we are now seeing it put into the medical environment.

Although it’s still in the prototype stage at this moment in time, the 3D printed cast – which is printed in the exact dimensions of the person needing to where it – has an open frame build, offering better air circulation around the skin and also includes ultrasound emitters to produce low intensity ultrasound pulses known as LIPUS to speed the bone regrowth.

Like many things in their prototype stages the LIPUS technology has seen a mixed bag of results with some seeing more benefit than other and in some cases the benefit was so small it was hard to justify the additional cost of going down this path. That said though, the 3D printed cast has proved to be very popular, with a more fashionable design, lighter build and as the cost of producing 3D printed items comes down, the cost of producing these one-off casts will become more cost-effective.

Until clinical studies have shown that the use of LIPUS is continually more beneficial than using a traditional plaster cast, we will have to sit in expectation. Either way, with this technology not really possible with traditional casts, as soon as we see LIPUS spread out into the wide world we’ll see the sci-fi looking casts become a reality.

Source: IFLS

Apple Fix For Basic iPhone Feature Now Available

Apple are one of the most high-profile businesses that there are around the world, yet, as some unfortunate users have found, they seem to fail at writing some of the most basic code needed for a mobile. Considering the massive amount of functions that the iPhone has to carry out, it is hard to conceive the fact that there is an issue with the code needed to run the clock and even more importantly its wake & sleep buttons. Surely this has to be a joke right?

Sadly though this is far from a joke and after a large number of customers consulted Apple for this simple issue, Apple have admitted that there is a problem with its ever popular iPhone 5 handset. Whilst the problem may not seem that bad, if you happen to use the clock on your shiny new 5 handset, you may have been experiencing some late awakenings in the morning after the wake/sleep buttons fail to respond to the user’s input. Additionally this is NOT the first time that iUsers have experienced a problem with their clocks. As early as 2010, there have been known problems and bugs with the simple looking clock and whilst many have been fixed with simple updates, this time it’s worse than ever.

The problem is so severe that it simply can’t be resolved with an iOS update and this means that it is time to head down to your local Genius bar and get it hands on repaired. Apple claim that this problem only affects a ‘small percentage’ of users and the fix-it program as been introduced to enable users to have their handsets fixed free of charge; and rightly so to be honest. US and Canada users initially can access the program and after entering the devices serial number into the Apple website, qualifying users will be prompted to head to the Apple Repair Centre.

There are one or two points that Apple do wish to add though, damaged screens will HAVE to be repaired before the device is sent in to have the clock fixed and you will have to part your beloved and cherished phone for around a week. There are other options to consider if parting with your handset is not an option. One is to ignore the problem and find another solution, another is to get another non-iDevice handset instead, or simply get a non-Apple branded clock. Some of these options are a little more drastic than others, so I’ll leave it to you to decide.

Will this be the last time we’ll hear of a problem like this? For some reason I think not.

Source: Fudzilla

 

ASUS Z97 Motherboard Launch Coverage

Introduction


The official Intel Z97 chipset launch day is finally here but it’s hardly been a surprising arrival. There have been leaks left, right and centre so most of today’s revelations probably won’t come as a surprise to most of our readers. However, this article (as the title suggests) is about the ASUS Z97 launch. ASUS went to great lengths in April to communicate with the global media about what is actually new with their Z97 motherboards. Making people aware of the “new” is important because as some of you may know, the new Haswell Refresh CPUs are not yet ready, we don’t have DDR4 support and the Z97 chipset doesn’t really bring anything new. In fact the Z97 chipset still has 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes, six SATA III and six USB 3.0 ports just like Z87. Don’t let that fool you though, Z97 does bring some new features to the table even if many of these features will be vendor specific. A couple of the more important features that Z97 is pushing are storage related – SATA Express support and PCIe M.2 support. Most vendors will vigorously taking advantage of these and ASUS are certainly no exception.

Today we will be taking an in-depth look at all the Z97 motherboards ASUS are launching today across their three main areas: the Channel Series, the TUF Series and the ROG Series. In this article we will be going through the new features specific to each series before taking a look at each of the motherboards individually. ASUS have certainly pulled out all the stops with Z97 and we can tell that a lot has been learnt from the Z87 generation. Without any further ado let’s proceed to take a look through the ASUS Z97 lineup! Please do skip past any motherboard ranges that are not of interest to you, by the end of it we hope to have given you a good idea of why you might want to upgrade to a (ASUS) Z97 based motherboard.

Galaxy S5 Swarkovski Crystal Edition – For Those With Expensive Taste

If you’re in the market for a brand new smartphone and you find that even an iPhone 5S is cheap, there are a limited number of options out there for you to look at. Obviously you could go and get a gold-plated iPhone but this a bit too common and everyone and their dog is rocking an iPhone – even if it is covered in gold. There is also the fact that it doesn’t really shine or sparkle. Fear not though as your troubles are soon to be solved as Samsung are soon planning to launch their latest addition to the exclusive Crystal Collection range of handsets.

If you are desperate to get your hands on the [probably outrageously expensive] handset, you will have to wait back a little longer as it appears Samsung are aiming this new creation at the Korean market to start with.

Unlike the Crystal Edition of the S4, Samsung’s promotional video shows that the back of the phone has a bit more than a handful of hand polished stones in place. Covered from top to bottom in Swarkovski crystals, it may be hard to distinguish this handset from one of those cheap and tacky plastic cases that you can buy from the street markets, but there is no mistaking the fact that, unlike the cheap cases, these are the real deal.

Specification wise, there is no indication that the S5 will be anything special over the high-street range and with Samsung breaking some records with the sales of the handset, I imagine Samsung will quickly rack up the sales of the Limited Edition handset when they are available. Whilst I can see that there are a number of people out there who have enough money to, or are crazy enough to spend this much money on a phone, I can imagine that many will hold off doing so, after all if you’re already making a statement about your wealth, having a flashy phone is likely to make you more of a target for theft.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/aTLBCACEX2k[/youtube]

Source: Techtimes

First Images of Dogecoin Sponsored NASCAR Released

NASCAR driver Josh Wise was driving without sponsorship on his car, and when his fans as well as the /r/dogecoin community of Reddit caught word of this, they set about raising more than $50,000 to help him. Not only did they get people to donate their Dogecoins, but also ran a competition for everyone to help design the car, which is now the first crypto currency sponsored, meme covered car in NASCAR, awesome!

The 98 Chevrolet SS that Josh Wise drives will be featured in the upcoming race at Talladega Superspeedway on May 4th, sporting its new Doge colours. The “Dogecar” pictures were tweeted by Phil Parsons Racing yesterday, covered from front to back in the Shiba meme, as well as a tiny spaceship which we can only assume is going “to the moon”, Doge fans will understand.

If Wise gets enough support, the car could also head to the Sprint Cup Series All Star race, but only time will tell if he can make it.

It’s pretty crazy to see a meme now sponsoring a car, let alone a crypo currency, but it just shows what a community can do when they put their heads together.

Thank you TheVerge for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TheVerge.

Gigabyte Showoff Huge External “WaterForce” GPU Water Cooler

The team over at VR-Zone saw something very interesting this week while taking part in Tech Tour 2014, they stumbled upon the monstrosity you see in the images here, the Gigabyte WaterForce GPU cooler. It’s not clear at this time if this is a final product, demo, prototype or whatever, but I’m going to guess prototype, because it looks an absolute mess right now.

The water cooling system, that is the radiators, fans, pumps and the control panel are all mounted in an external block, this can be seen sat on the top of the chassis in the picture, much like the extra chassis add-ons for the Cooler Master HAF Stacker. The top component features a set of controls to change everything from temperature, fan and pump speeds, giving you absolute control of the setup and how much cooling performance is needed at any one time.

There are three GeForce GTX 780 Ti graphics cards inside the system and while the cable routing looks drastic, keep in mind that there are six flexible water cooling pipes running amongst that lot as well. These pipes run up to the top 5.25″ drive bays, out through the front of the chassis and up to the top control / radiator block. Cable routing inside the chassis shouldn’t matter too much as it’s relying on the flow of water to cool the graphics cards, not air.

I like the idea, but it’s clear that it needs some work, not to mention a more suitable chassis as a little cable routing wouldn’t go a miss just to stop it looking like garbage in there. What do you think about external GPU water cooling, a good idea or a waste of time?

Thank you VideoCardz for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of VideoCardz.

Team Created Pip-Boy 300 For NASA SpaceApps Challenge

If you’ve ever played the Bethesda classic that is Fallout, then you’re no doubt familiar with the rise in popularity of the Pip-Boy from Fallout 3. The wearable gadget is much like the smart devices we can wear today, only it’s a heck of a lot cooler.

Team Reno took part in the NASA SpaceApps Challenge, which set the goal of creating wearable technology for future space travellers. Team Reno created a Pip-Boy that really raised the bar compared to the other Pip-Boy style mods we’ve seen created by fans in the past. The new device can display relative humidity, altitude, latitude, longitude, atmospheric pressure, ambient temperature, object temperature and most importantly of all, radiation levels.

We wanted to make a piece of popular science fiction into a reality so we chose the Pip-Boy 3000 from the game Fallout 3. The goal was to bring environmental sensors into an easy-to-use cuff device that could help a wearer determine if their environment is safe for navigation or helmet removal”. said Team Reno in a recent blog post.

I’m loving the device so far, the 3D printed shell looks stunning and the inlay screen looks very much like that of the Fallout Pip-Boy. Question is, where can I get one?!

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TweakTown.

Bitcoin Going To Outer Space

Bitcoin is preparing to launch satellites into space as a means of ‘Global’ backup to the blockchain. Bitcoin’s blockchain is to be sent into space in order to reduce coin volatility and ensure safety from major cyber attacks. The blockchain is a constantly changing documents that records all transactions as well as who owns all coins. Bitcoin is dependent on access to the blockchain to verify all transactions and now Jeff Garzik, one of the main contributors to the Bitcoin source code, has announced that he intends to launch a number of satellites into space to host copies of the blockchain and continuously send it back to earth. Garzik, who currently runs Dunvegan Space Systems, intends to launch a fleet of satellites that host fresh blockchain copies and continuously send it back to earth.

This development will allow anyone to obtain “free Bitcoin bandwidth” anywhere in the World, regardless of the performance of their current internet connection or provider. Garzik went on to say that this would protect the blockchain from cyber attacks that set out to manipulate the blockchain. This will be a fantastic development for Bitcoin; although already a groundbreaking development in finance, the currency has suffered from both bad publicity and volatility as a result of concerns about blockchain malleability and the possibility of fraud. Having the code would seek to manipulate the blockchain file. Secure upload centres would need to be put in place across the globe, that would continuously update the blockchain, and these centres would then beam the code into space, the satellites would then receive the code and in turn, beam it to every bitcoin user on Earth. Garzik believes that he could launch some ‘Cubesats’ into space and that this would be the most affordable way to achieve the plan.

The ‘Cubesats” are micro-satellites with dimensions of approximately 10cm cubed. For $2 Million he can put one into space and for $5 Million he can put eight into space, providing almost continuous coverage to all of the World. He has announced that he intends to begin fund-raising at the end of the summer, and if this is successful, as he expects it to be, he will be in a position to launch the satellites by August of next year (2015). There are, however, potential flaws in this brilliant idea. For one thing, the satellites would have to ensure that the ‘Bitcoin-Bandwidth” did not conflict with other satellites already in space. Further, the satellites have a useful life of no more than two to three years, and this will in turn mean there will be a need for future fundraising for future launches.

 

Thank you to The Telegraph and Virtual Mining for providing us with this information.

Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Four Gaming Headset Review

Introduction


We’ve got something pretty special in the eTeknix office today, the latest headset from Turtle Beach and our very first review of an Xbox One peripheral. I’ve not had much joy from the console its self over the last couple of month, but one thing I have hated most of all is the lack of great headsets, or at least headsets that I like using. Hopefully the new headset from Turtle Beach can resolve this.

Gaming is big business and competitive gaming is right at the heart of it for many of us, be that eSports or just teaming up with a few friends for a couple of rounds on Battlefield on an evening. Nothing will improve your game more than practice, but having the right peripherals for the job can massively improve the quality of your experience, or at least give you an extra edge over your opponents. A good quality headset can be an immersive experience and being able to clearly communicate with your team mates is often vital when playing competitively. With prices ranging from £75- £100 from the XO Four headset, it’s certainly not a budget solution, so I’ll be looking for a good standard of build quality, performance and plenty of features for such an investment.

“Headsets aren’t just great for games. Enjoy your favourite movies and TV shows with superior quality sound. Then crank up your tunes from music services like Xbox Music or Skype with friends!” reads the Turtle Beach website.

The packaging is nicely designed with a stylish image of the headset on the front of the box, as well as a quick run-down of some of the major features, including the large 50mm drivers, volume mixer and mobile support.

Around the back you’ll find some marketing info that details the highlights, these include the lightweight and comfortable design, wireless to the Xbox One console (wired to controller only) and the fold flat design.

The headset comes nicely packaged with plenty of protection around the major components.

Aside from the headset its self you will find a detachable boom microphone, controller attachment, a micro USB cable and a small box which contains a few documents on warranty, set up and support.

3D Printed Invention Solves The Dreaded Ketchup Water Problem

There are many people in this world who love Ketchup, but for those of us who do love it (myself included) there is one major drawback. That time when you forget to shake the bottle first, you tip the bottle upside down and all of a sudden you have watery, messy liquid soaking your fries and still have no sauce on them, yuck!

Two teenage inventors for the Liberty North High School in Missouri have come up with a solution to this truly first world problem, they’ve customised the cap. The new cap is mushroom-shaped and was made using a 3D printer, insert the cap into the bottle and it prevents the fluid built up by trapping the water at the bottom of the bottle.

It’s great to see little ideas like this come to life thanks to 3D printing, especially within schools and other places of education. The boys aren’t planning to patent or market the invention right now and well… that makes them idiots, because it’s little innovations like this that big companies love to snap up.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/7JTuEUSauc0[/youtube]

Thank you Popsci for providing us with this information.

Inno3D GeForce GTX Titan Z HerculeZ Edition Coming Soon

Nvidia’s green-light program has been preventing manufacturers from altering the designs of the latest Nvidia hardware, they did the same thing on all their recent high-end cards, including the GeForce GTX 690, GTX Titan and the Titan Black Edition graphics cards. Now it looks like the same set of rules is set to be in place on the upcoming Titan Z graphics card. Fortunately there are some simple loop-holes in this system, it just means you’re going to have to get your screwdriver kit and mod the card yourself.

Inno3D’s HerculeZ cooler set to tame the beast that is the Titan Z and while we have no figures on performance, we suspect that Inno3D wouldn’t be going through all of this trouble to decrease the cooling performance of the graphics card. We suspect that Inno3D will ship the new cooler alongside the GPU, much in the same way that EVGA bundled their ACX cooler with the Titan Black, and Gigabyte bundled their Windforce Cooler with the Titan. This bundled deal does mean that you have to do some work and install the new cooler yourself, something not everyone is going to be comfortable with, especially given how these cards could cost around $3000.

The new cooler features an array of aluminium fins, with two contact surfaces that cater to the two GK110 cores of the card. There are 10 thick heat pipes in total, five for each GPU core and there is room for three PWM controlled fans (100mm/92mm/100mm).

Thank you WCCFTech for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of WCCFTech.

Legend Of Buried Atari E.T. Cartridges Confirmed!

There are many legends in the video game industry,but none of them are as grand as Atari E.T. legend. The game was terrible, but ATARI was so confident of themselves that they over paid for the licence to create it and produced vast quantities of the cartridges. So bad was the fallout from this game when it launched, that it was blamed for the console gaming markets collapse which follow less than a year after the games release. Which makes me wonder why the music industry isn’t in ruin after Justin Beiber released his first album… strange.

ATARI was losing vast amounts of money when the game failed to sell and the rumour, turned legend, turned myth, was that ATARI secretly buried tens of thousands of copies of the game in a Mexican landfill. A year or so ago, a team went to Kickstarter and had hopes of setting out on an epic expedition to uncover the truth of ATARI’s hidden shame, and today they turned up quite a surprise. The contents of the dig site have been lost to history for over 30 years, but as you can see from the picture above, the team have uncovered evidence of the buried content, which appears to contain Centipede, not just E.T.

Atari paid millions to get the rights to the movie for their game, and ended up creating one of the (if not THE) worst video game ever to grace our screens! So bad that some have suggested the games should be left buried. However, what was once a myth is now confirmed as a true piece of video game history and you’ll be able to find out even more in the coming months as the team releases their official documentary of the trip.

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Polygon.

Asus And HyperX Join Forces With the HyperXpress SSD

This week saw two industry giants joining forces for a demonstration of the first Asus branded SSD hard drive, the HyperXpress. As the name suggests, the Asus SSD has been co-developed by the legendary HyperX team at Kingston, a brand who already have many of the best memory and storage products on the market today to their name.

The new drive is 9.5mm thick and comes in the usual 2.5″ form factor that we’ve come to know and love from the SSD market. It’s packed full of features and comes with support of the SATA Express interface, which is set to hit the market next month, alongside the launch of the new Intel Z97 Express chipset and Intel’s Core Haswell Refresh processor range.

The drive is pretty common place in terms of components, featuring a host-agnostic RAID0 array of two mSATA 6 Gb/s SSDs, both of which are wired to a host controller from ASMedia. It will still behave like a single drive despite its dual hard drive nature, but it should benefit from the performance gains we normally see in RAID configurations.

The drive is still an early prototype and ASUS said that future models could run a pair of M.2 SSDs instead of mSATA, giving even better performance that what was seen from the recent demonstration (see chart below). With Computex 2014 just weeks away now (eTeknix will be there), ASUS are expected to launch a huge range of new storage products, so stay tuned for more information.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp.

Synology DS1513+ 5-Bay NAS Review

Introduction


When we look at the number of bays that each and every NAS on the market has to offer, typically we find the bays rising in multiples of 2, although we do find that there are 5 and 7 bay options out there as well for those who want to bridge the price gap between the 4-6 bay price bracket and additionally the 6-8 bay bracket.  Typically in the home environment we find users buying 2-4 bay systems and with capacities of up to 16TB on offer, this is generally more than enough to suit the majority of users in this group. On the other end of the scale in the enterprise market, 16-bay systems are not uncommon and in some cases 24-bay systems can be found, but in between these two extreme ends of the market is the SMB (Small-to-Medium-Business) and SOHO (Small Office / Home Office) group of users. At this level in the market, 4 bay systems are ample solutions to go for but in most cases they are just a starting point, with users and businesses soon seeing that they need to go up to a 6 or 8 bay system to suffice their needs. As said though, the price difference in some cases is quite notable and this is where units such as Synology’s DS1513+ come into play.

The Ds1513+ is by no means a new system to the market, in fact it was released in the mid-part of last year, but what is significant about this system is that it has five drive bays to work with in a desktop format which allows for up to 20TB of RAW storage, but even more importantly it has four Gigabit Ethernet ports on the back, allowing for high-levels of bandwidth and throughput when setup with a compatible switch. So why I hear you ask am I reviewing a product that is nearly a year old? Well the simple answer is that whilst there have been a fair number of new products in the SOHO and SMB classes come to market since the launch if this system, I have until this point only looked at consumer level and SOHO based systems which are ideal for the home user, but not quite what the business user is after, both in terms of functionality and performance. Whilst I could have chosen a more recent system to put to the test, Synology were keen to show me that their DS1513+ is still s class leading product long after it hit the market – or that’s what they tell me.

So what sets a business level NAS apart from a consumer level product? To move up to the next level a NAS in my eyes needs to offer up a number of additional features. The first of these is multiple Ethernet ports; a home user for the most part is never going to fully saturate a single Gigabit connection, whilst in a business environment where multiple users are likely to be connected, creating a potential bottle neck as one Ethernet connection struggles to deliver data fast enough. The second thing that I look for is scalability; commercial environments typically create volumes of data much faster than one would at home and buying a larger system every 6 months for example is not what one would exactly call practical. Expansion units can simply connect into the existing system and drive volumes to create additional storage space with ease and lass hassle. The last thing that I look for is stronger performance levels. Going back to the LAN point that I made above, yes a home user may see a slight difference in performance between a RAID 0 and a RAID 1 array, but only just, whereas in a busier environment this difference in performance is noted far quicker as many users try to access the system. A strong storage controller is the key here.

The DS1513+ has all the basic credentials that I need for it to be classed as a business level system so the real question now is, can it really deliver those promised levels of performance and still shine through as a class leader nearly a year since its release? That’s what we’re about to find out.

Unlike some of the consumer level systems that Synology have in their catalogue, the DS1513+ has a more concise accessory set included with little more than a pair of Ethernet cables to get connected, a UK mains plug (in our case), a set of screws for installing 2.5″ drives into the drive trays and a pair of keys of locking each of the drive trays in place.

Man Builds Own Phone Using Raspberry Pi For $158

The Raspberry Pi computer is small, cheap and incredibly diverse in its range of applications. While the little Linux computer, which is small enough to fix in a cigarette packet, has been on the market for some time now, it’s still making headlines and users find new ways of using it. David Hunt decided to use his to build a smartphone, the PiPhone cost him $158 to build and while it may look like a pile of crud, it’s actually pretty awesome.

The phone boots up to Raspbian then (eventually) displays a numeric keypad. Hunt is a Linux software engineer, so he’s in a great position to know how to bend the OS to his needs. Check out the video below where you can see him hook up a microphone and headset via the dual 3.5mm jacks, allowing him to make a phonecall from the PiPhone.

  • Raspberry Pi Model B – $40
  • PiTFT Touchscreen 320×240 – $35
  • 2500mAh LiPo battery – $15
  • SIM900 GSM/GPRS module – $48
  • DC-DC boost converter 3.3V – 5V 1A – $10
  • Cables, connectors, switch, etc. – $10

The phone operates on a low resolution touch screen and has a few hours battery life, David said the devices does get a little warm, but has so far been pretty stable in terms of performance. It doesn’t look too great, but it’s still a fun little project, almost as fun as David’s last project which involved using another Raspberry Pi to construct a bark-activated door opener for dogs.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/8eaiNsFhtI8[/youtube]

Thank you Arstechnica for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Arstechnica.

Oculus Rift Allowed Dying Grandmother To Explore The World

Cancer is one of those horrible words we all hope we never hear, it hits so many peoples lives and while many forms of it are now treatable, it can also be fatal. For Roberta Firstenberg, her long battle with cancer had left her weak and no longer able to venture outsite. Roberta’s granddaughter Priscilla, just so happens to be a game artist and developer, giving her a unique position to help Roberta, allowing her grandmother to step outside again by using the VR technology of Oculus Rift.

The Oculus Rift headset is a virtual reality device, allowing you to look around your digital surroundings with incredible accuracy, and having used one myself I can confirm that the sensation is nothing short of mindblowing. However, I can’t imagine how incredible it much have been for Roberta to feel some sense of freedom again. Priscilla contacted Oculus in the hopes of getting Roberta a dev kit to use, and they responded with exactly that. As you can see in the video, Roberta got straight into the action of the Oculus Tuscany demo, allowing her to glide around, climb stairs, explore and toy around with butterflies. She even managed to explore using Google Maps thanks to a special mod. Unfortunately Roberta passed away just four week later, but this is an awesome use of technology and Priscilla did a truly great thing, which may inspire new ways of helping those unable to venture into the world due to illness.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/o5eIHyFYFMM[/youtube]

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of The Verge.

Want the Full Oculus Experience? Give Your Mates a Nudge to Try It Out

If you’ve not had the chance yet to try out Oculus Rift, I strongly advise that you do. It’s an experience that most of us here at eTeknix have had and you don’t fully appreciate it until you have. There is however one small thing that Oculus is missing out – the feeling on your body that you’re moving in the right direction.

Well the next time that you give it a try, offer your mate the chance to check it out first, just like this guy did in Russia. Once they’ve got comfortable wearing the Rift, give them a gentle push on the shoulder an prepare to laugh your head off as they lose their balance in a way that can only be described as hilarious. Don’t believe me? Watch the video below to see what really happens. Prepare to be full of laughter though as it is truly hilarious. Why we didn’t think of doing this before I don’t know, but I’ll be certain that I’m not going to try out the Rift any time soon with my mates.

Cut to 1:25 where you can see the chaos unfold and 1:40 is where uncontrollable laughter kicks in.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/Odax7F3tWhM[/youtube]

Source: Gizmodo

Braebo Computers ‘Titan’ Budget AMD Gaming System Review

Introduction


When we take a wide look at the pre-built systems market in the UK, the number of names out there that one can choose from is growing on a near day-to-day basis. The scale at which each of these system integrators run does vary quite considerably and on the high-end of the scale where the big names such as Scan Computers and Overclockers UK dominate the market, competition is fierce and the number of systems that each name has to offer covers an incredibly wide range of budgets. When we look towards the other end of the scale, where getting your name out there is key, pitching just high-end systems that costs hundreds to buy is not exactly going to be an easy way of doing this. Instead of offering systems on the upper end of the performance scale, the other option is to create a line of budget friendly systems that contain a more modest level of performance making them ideal for the first time buyer who is just getting their feet into the door and the world of gaming on a PC.

Based in Rushden, Northamptonshire; Braebo Computers, compared to the big names out there, are a small company that was setup by two brothers since they started building systems for the public back in 2002. Since then they have developed a small range of systems, all with components from some of the biggest brands in the industry and whilst their operation my be small, they strive to offer excellent value for money with a customer service that would rival that of the market leaders. Building quality systems that are suited to your needs are where they excel and this ethos is what is driving them forward in a highly competitive market space.

The system that we are taking a look at today is one of their latest creations, offering an all-AMD based lineup consisting of the latest A10-7700k APU and an R9 270 graphics card, along with an SSD courtesy of Corsair, 16GB of memory from Crucial and off of this is spread out across one of Gigabyte’s top performing AMD boards – the F2A88X G1 Sniper. Alongside the system itself, our review package today consists of a full desktop setup that Braebo offer to all of their customers meaning that we have all the basic items needed to get the system up and running – ideal for the first time buyer. In this care package we have a 22″ monitor for AOC and a USB mouse and keyboard set from Microsoft. In addition the Titan comes with the lastest version of Windows 8.1 pre-installed and the added extra of a wireless card for connecting your new system into your home network. It looks as though all the basic essentials have been taken care of and ticked off, so lets take a look at the Titan system and see what it’s made of.

  • Name: Braebo Titan
  • Case: Xigmatek Asgard 381
  • MB: Gigabyte G1 A88X Sniper
  • CPU: AMD ‘Kaveri’ A10 7700k Quad Core APU @ 3.4GHz
  • Cooler: Stock AMD
  • RAM: 16GB Crucial CT2KIT102464BA160B 1600MHz (8GB x2)
  • SSD: Corsair Force LS 64GB
  • HDD: 1TB Seagate Barracuda
  • GPU: VTX3D AMD Radeon R9 270 2GB
  • PSU: Corsair CX600
  • ODD: 24x Dual-Layer DVD Writer
  • WLAN: Asus PCE-N10 802.11n 150Mbps
  • Monitor: AOC E2250S 22″ LED
  • Peripherals: Microsoft Basics Mouse & Keyboard
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • Warranty: 3 year RTB – 1 month collect & return
  • Price: £799.99 Inc VAT / £699 Inc VAT without monitor, mouse & keyboard

Compared to the full on specifications of the systems that we have seen up to today, Braebo’s Titan is more modest and this all comes down to its target audience. When looking across the board at every pre-built system that can be bought, the main bulk of these are aimed directly at the mainstream consumer and up towards the super enthusiast, where money is no object and performance is everything. The Titan brings this all back down to earth with a more basic lineup of components that round-up to a price that is more suited to the entry-level end of the spectrum.

When we look at the accessory set of a pre-built system, on the whole it is made up of all the little extras that come with each individual component such as manuals, adaptors and cables. Braebo’s Titan is no different, although depending on the package that you opt for, you can choose to get a complete setup headed your way instead. in the complete package Braebo bundle in a 22″ AOC monitor and a Microsoft mouse and keyboard set, giving you everything that you need to get up and running.

Denmark Created 1:1 Scale In Minecraft

The team at Geodata agency have recreated the whole of Denmark in 1:1 scale in the world of Minecraft. Simon Kokkendoft and Thorbjørn Nielsen used data taken from their Geodata Agency to make a block-for-block remake of the country.

While of course the whole project has been done with fun in mind, the teams ambitions are focused on the environment and educational purposes. They’re hoping that their work will be taken into Denmark’s schools, allowing studios to learn about everything from urban planning to environment preservation.

It is a great idea to let people get hands on and explore the country. Of course they haven’t reproduced every build and office block, but the landscape that the country is built upon, allowing citizens a clear look at the terrain around them and to understand why and how people use the land.

With Minecraft more popular than ever with a younger audience, I can’t think of a better medium to help them convey their message.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/6rMebJWiNUQ[/youtube]

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TweakTown.