Lumia 950 And 950 XL Specification Confirmed

Microsoft has accidentally preempted the upcoming announcement of the flagship Lumia 950 and 950 XL. According to a listing on Microsoft’s UK Store, both devices will feature a WQHD display and 20-megapixel rear camera with ZEISS optics. The 950’s 5-2 inch panel offers an enhanced pixels-per-inch rate and comes in a sensible size.

In contrast to this, the 950 XL is extremely large with a total display size of 5.7-inch. Additional information regarding the storage limits was divulged and it looks like both handsets will include 32GB as standard with a microSD slot allowing for up to 2TB of expansion. Early reports indicate the 950 series will utilize a USB-Type C connection and support fast charging. Microsoft is also bundling the handsets with their latest operating system.

The mid-high end market is awash with a number of exceptional value-for-money handsets including the One Plus 2 and Hauwei Honor 7. It’s been quite a while since Microsoft launched a top-tier handset and the specifications are usually more modest on Windows Phone due to the light resources required by the operating system. Microsoft is hoping to bring more customers to Windows Mobile as their current market share leaves a lot to be desired.

What do you think of the Windows Mobile platform?

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information.

Gift Cards At Discounts? Maybe Not For Star Citizen

Star Citizen is a game we’ve reported on many times. The game started as an idea and took to the crowdfunding platform to support its big dreams of being a Space Fighter, First Person Shooter and Role Playing game all while allowing thousands of players to interact with one another. It can claim the title, and will be able to for a while I suspect, the title of most crowd funded game in history, with a total of $89,612,253 raised so far. This is set to continue to rise as players join the game through early entry bundles and purchase their ships ready for the big release in the future. One player has spent over $22,000 on the game, raising the question about how much are you willing to pay for those early bonuses to your games?

With the release of their latest ship (pictured above), the Endeavour is designed as a modular research vessel. From a research station to a portal hospital the Endeavour is set to be the first of a series of ships that can be customised and designed based on the user’s preference. Coming in at $420 though, some people may not feel comfortable shelling that out for an in-game item. So why not try to save some money by buying those gift cards that people can always get you for a tiny discount?

Sadly this isn’t the case of Star Citizen who are charging more than their value for the digital gift cards. The prices are listed below:

$10 gift card – $12
$25 gift card – $30
$50 gift card – $60
$100 gift card – $120

This works out at you only getting 80% of what you pay sent in the gift card, meaning that $420 Endeavour will set your friend back $504 in gift cards.

I am personally not a huge of buy before play DLC and being able to play Star Citizen (even in its incomplete form) means you can see the benefits of what you buy, but when you are spending hundreds of pounds, dollars or euros on something or want to gift your friend with something, gift cards are normally a good way to find a discount in exchange for the hassle of handling them.

Do you play Star Citizen? Have you brought a ship using real money? Are you as confused as to why the gift cards cost more than they are worth as we are?

Thank you PCGamesN for the information and the image.

Fallout Anthology Out Now

In anticipation of fervently anticipated sequel Fallout 4, Bethesda has released a gorgeous boxset collection of every Fallout game in the series, housed within one of the games’ Fat Boy nukes. The Fallout Anthology contains the first three major entries in the series, plus Fallout Tactics and Fallout New Vegas, and even allows space to include Fallout 4 after its release in November.

According to the Bethesda website, the Anthology includes, in reverse order:

Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition

Set more than 200 years following nuclear war, create any character you want and explore the open wastes of Washington, D.C. however you choose. Every minute is a fight for survival as you encounter Super Mutants, Ghouls, Raiders, and other dangers of the Wasteland. In addition to the critically-acclaimed Fallout 3, the Game of the Year Edition includes official add-ons: The Pitt, Operation: Anchorage, Broken Steel, Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta.

Fallout New Vegas: Ultimate Edition

Battle your way across the heat-blasted Mojave Wasteland to the neon drenched Vegas Strip. Along the way you’ll be introduced to a colorful cast of characters, factions, mutated creatures and much more. The Fallout New Vegas: Ultimate Edition comes complete with the full suite of add-ons: Dead Money, Honest Hearts, Old World Blues, Lonesome Road, Courier’s Stash and Gun Runners Arsenal.

Fallout Tactics

In these dark times, the Brotherhood of Steel is all that stands between the rekindled flame of civilization and the radiated Wasteland. Take up arms, stand shoulder to shoulder with your brethren, and protect the weak, whether they like it or not. Your squadmates will be more dear to you than family and for those that survive there will be honor, respect and the spoils of war.

Fallout 2

It’s been many years since your ancestors trod across the wastelands. As you search for the Garden of Eden Creation Kit to save your primitive village, your path is strewn with crippling radiation, megalomaniac mutants, and a relentless stream of lies, deceit and treachery. You begin to wonder if anyone really stands to gain anything from this brave new world.

Fallout

After 80 years of idyllic Vault life, Vault 13’s vital water chip has malfunctioned. You are chosen by the Overseer to venture out into the Wasteland and save your fellow Vault Dwellers. Seek out a new microchip and return before the water supply runs out.

The Fallout Anthology is priced £39/$50, but is reportedly out of stock at most major retailers. In the UK, the boxset’s exclusive seller GAME has already sold out.

Images courtesy of Bethesda and Dark Side of Gaming.

Microsoft Addresses Windows 10 Privacy Concerns by Pretending They Don’t Exist

Since the release of Windows 10 at the end of July this year, there’s been much frenzied concern – some hysterical, some justified – regarding the operating system’s approach to user privacy, but Microsoft has refused to directly comment on the issues, until now. Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President of the Windows and Devices Group, has this week paid lip service to user concerns over privacy in Windows 10, but has done so, bizarrely, by not mentioning them.

In the post, Myerson opens by assuring that all that data its collecting from you is encrypted which makes it fine – failing to acknowledge that the act of collecting user data itself is one of the prevailing issues Windows 10 owners are concerned about – and facilitates Microsoft’s desire to provide a “delightful” Windows experience. See, it’s for our own good, not for their benefit:

“We aspire to deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience to you, which benefits from knowing some things about you to customize your experience, such as knowing whether you are a Seattle Seahawks fan or Real Madrid fan, in order to give you updates on game scores or recommend apps you might enjoy– or remembering the common words you type in text messaging conversations to provide you convenient text completion suggestions.”

Myerson follows up with a cheap, “Hey, at least we’re not Google!” jab:

“Unlike some other platforms, no matter what privacy options you choose, neither Windows 10 nor any other Microsoft software scans the content of your email or other communications, or your files, in order to deliver targeted advertising to you.”

The blog post is little more than an echo chamber – setting its own agenda, then responding to it – and does little to address the genuine concerns of Windows 10 users. In fact, that it doesn’t reveal exactly how it uses the data it collects is conspicuous by its absence.

Thank you TechDirt for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Windows Central.

Idiotic PR Alert – Call of Duty Tweets Fake Terror Attack

Update: Call of Duty have now changed their Twitter name back to @CallofDuty, which earlier read as Current Events Agg. The embedded tweets below now look more representative of the game.

In a fit of inspired viral marketing, which was not at all tacky and inappropriate, the official Call of Duty Twitter account scared the Hell out of unsuspecting followers by reporting a made-up terrorist attack on a densely-populated area in Singapore.

https://twitter.com/CallofDuty/status/648905858529759232

To aid the ruse, the verified Call of Duty account changed its name to the rather obfuscating ‘Current Events Aggregate’, posing as a genuine news outlet, which just happens to be a breach of Twitter’s terms and conditions – a verified Twitter account is not permitted to change key information that might obscure the reason it was verified – for reasons of, y’know, fooling people into thinking that this was something other than a cheap promotional stunt.

A series of tweets followed, painting a picture of death and destruction in the fictional Singapore bombsite:

https://twitter.com/CallofDuty/status/648943510268284928

https://twitter.com/CallofDuty/status/648925311623655425

https://twitter.com/CallofDuty/status/648913308238643200

https://twitter.com/CallofDuty/status/648944146644905988

The final tweet reads, “That was a glimpse into the future fiction of #BlackOps3,” but might as well say, “Gotcha!”. Even if people weren’t fooled by it, using the imagery of tragic real world events, out of context, to push your factory-churned product is deplorable. Bombs, quarantine zones, and martial law, all to sell a few video games. Stay classy, Activision.

Hitman’s New Release Date Has Been Revealed

We have already informed you that Square Enix and IO Interactive have delayed HITMAN until March 2016, but now we know exactly when the game is set to be released: March 11, 2016. At launch, the game will offer three locations, namely Sapienza, Paris and Marrakesh, and it will include a total of six campaign missions. However, players will also be able to kill 800 targets via the game’s Contracts mode.

In April, May and June, IO Interactive plans to release brand new sandbox locations, each featuring new signature kills, missions and Contracts targets. Those who are interested in HITMAN’s live content will be glad to know that it will kick off in March. It will include weekly IOI developed Contracts, promoted fan-made content and time-limited targets.

HITMAN’s Intro Pack will debut on March 11, 2016, and it will set you back $34.99. It will incorporate all of the launch content as well as all of the Live Events and Contracts for all locations unveiled in March 2016. It certainly looks like HITMAN will be a fragmented game that will receive new content on a monthly basis, at least for a while. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, I guess we’re about to find out.

Will you be picking up HITMAN?

Thank you DSOgaming for providing us with this information.

NVIDIA launches ‘GeForce Now’ Subscription Service

NVIDIA has unveiled a Netflix-style streaming service for games entitled, ‘Geforce Now’. The service will cost $8/£7.99 per month and allows users to stream titles to a Shield device. There is already a large selection of games and the system is capable of streaming in 1080p at 60 frames-per-second. Additionally, 4K gaming will be possible via a future update when streamed with a compatible TV. According to NVIDIA, the quality of stream depends on your internet connection.

In addition to the streaming service, you will also be able to purchase games. Although, the advantage of ‘Geforce Now’ is no loading times and getting straight into the action. Arguably, the future of gaming is cloud-based and the subscription-model does offer a great deal of value. Other services like PlayStation Plus have been successful which indicates there is an acceptance in the market for similar forms of digital distribution. However, many customers still prefer to own a physical copy but this is less prevalent on the PC.

Nevertheless, NVIDIA acknowledges the popularity of Netflix and wants to hone on that success in the gaming industry. Playing 4K games via the traditional desktop experience is very expensive so it will be fascinating to see which games run in 4K first.

Overclockers UK Evolution Envy Mini Gaming PC Review

Introduction


Overclockers UK is an established player in the hardware retail sector and provides a stellar customer service through approachable team members and impeccable communication on the site’s official forum. The company’s highly adept team of engineers produces a wide array of custom PC builds to suit varying budgets and contrasting tastes. OCUK decided to send the Evolution Envy Mini Gaming PC for review purposes which features a substantial upgrade compared to the basic model.

This particular configuration includes an Intel Core i7-4970K, 8GB DDR3 2400 MHz RAM, NVIDIA GTX 970, MSI Z97I AC ITX motherboard, 120GB Samsung SSD boot drive, 1TB Samsung SSD data drive and ultra-reliable SuperFlower HX 550W 80+ gold power supply. The CPU has been manually overclocked to a frequency of 4.5 GHz and remains relatively cool due to an Asetek-designed-240mm closed-looped-liquid cooler. OCUK combined this wonderful array of components in a portable form-factor which makes it the perfect LAN event PC. Although, it will be fascinating to determine if the restricted space causes any issues during stressful benchmarks.

Specifications

  • Name: Overclockers UK Evolution Envy Mini Gaming PC
  • Case: Phanteks Evolv ITX Windowed Gaming Case – Black
  • Motherboard: MSI Z97I AC (Socket 1150) ITX Motherboard
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-4790K Quad Core Processor Overclocked to 4.5 GHz
  • Processor Cooler: OCUK Techlabs 240mm AIO Liquid Cooler with Noiseblocker Fans
  • System Memory: Kingston HyperX 8GB (2x4GB) PC3-19200C11 2400MHz Dual Channel Kit
  • Main Boot Drive: Samsung 120GB 850 EVO SSD
  • Additional Storage Drive(s): Samsung 1TB 850 EVO SSD
  • Graphics card: KFA2 GeForce GTX 970 OC Silent “Infin8 Black Edition” 4GB
  • Power Supply: SuperFlower HX 550W 80+ Gold Rated PSU
  • Peripherals: None
  • Monitor: None
  • Optical DriveNone
  • Wireless: Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 7260
  • OS: Windows 10 64-Bit
  • Warranty: 3 Year (24 Month Collect and Return plus 12 Month labour) Mainland UK and Ireland Only
  • Price: £1321

Packing and Accessories

The Evolution Envy Mini comes in a surprisingly large box given the chassis size which contains two thick cardboard layers held together by banded wires. This ensures the package remains protected during transit as it’s virtually impossible for the box or its contents to become dislodged.

Once the cardboard layers have been removed, we can see the main chassis alongside strong, protective foam. OCUK also employed durable side supports to enhance the box’s net weight and increase the packaging’s stability. Please note, the retail version is complete with component boxes but this isn’t included on press samples as the packaging is easily lost among other samples.

On another note, the system is bundled with a comprehensive setup guide and tasty selection of Haribo sweets. The setup manual is excellent and explains in clear, concise English how to attach your peripherals. It also gives an indication about fault checking and advises when to contact customer support.

Here we can see the main chassis box which provides a good amount of padding to reduce impact during shipping. Thankfully, OCUK’s attentive approach with the outer packaging kept the chassis cosmetically and mechanically sound. In theory, they could have got away with just sending the item in a chassis box, but avoided this due to damage concerns.

The chassis box contains a precautionary message informing you to retain the packaging for RMA purposes. This is very clear, and in bold writing so it’s impossible to throw away the original packaging without prior notice of OCUK’s return procedure.

After the top seal has been broken, we can see the tightly packed case which features two supporting foam blocks and a large cover. I didn’t encounter any rips on the cover whatsoever which signifies the chassis was well protected and didn’t fall victim to any cosmetic marks.

The foam supports are surprisingly thick for an ITX-size case and constructed from remarkably strong material. As a result, I found it difficult to bend or snap the supports despite applying a significant amount of force. This means, the chassis withstands a lot of punishment and offers enough protection against even the most heavy-handed couriers.

CPU-Z


GPU-Z

NVIDIA Shield TV Coming to UK Stores Tomorrow

The NVIDIA Shield TV is an astonishingly powerful Android device which allows you to watch video content in 4K and stream visually demanding PC titles from the cloud. Additionally, the Shield TV supports native Android games and offers the best of mobile gaming and PC in a neat package. The system harnesses NVIDIA’s extremely efficient Tegra X1 processor and GRID technology to offer a fluid and immersive gaming experience.

Finally, NVIDIA’s Shield TV is coming to the UK and will be available from tomorrow in participating retailers. Conceptually, the Shield TV could become the future of gaming as cloud-servers are used to offset the processing power. Therefore, it’s possible for users to only need a low-cost, system to access some of the most demanding games out there. Despite this, the NVIDIA Shield TV is feature-rich and puts the latest Apple TV to shame. With 4K streaming capability, the Shield TV is a flexible device and should suit a wide range of customers.

It will be interesting to see the initial sales figures and the general consensus from UK customers. PC gaming is becoming more accessible and there isn’t as much of a requirement to spend huge amounts of money on a top-tier rig.

Here is a complete rundown of the recommend price:

  • Shield ATV Base (16G + Controller) £ 149,99
  • Shield ATV PRO (500G + Controller) £ 219,99
  • Shield Wireless Controller £ 49,99
  • Shield Remote £ 39,99
  • Stand £ 24,99
  • GFN £ 7,49

What do you think of the NVIDIA Shield TV?

HGST Partnered with CommVault For Improved Cloud Backup Abilities

High capacity storage solutions often run into one problem and that is the backup. When you deal with petabytes of data where even the archives need to be accessible at all times and in a proper way, it takes both software and hardware to make that happen.

HGST, a part of Western Digital, has now partnered up with CommVault to enable simple scale out enterprise-class cloud backup and data management solutions. Commvault’s Simpana software now features native configuration and management support for the HGST Active Archive System to deliver a backup solution that solves data management at scale and provides instant access to data archives all at a price point that rivals traditional tape. Yes tape, those drives are currently still vital to most large storage backups.

HGST’s Active Archive System, as pictured above, is an extremely simple solution to deploy. All you need is network and power connections and it is good to go with up to 4.7PB raw storage. It is limitlessly scalable and provides the highest capacity per square foot at the same time as it delivers the lowest power consumption per terabyte of storage.

“HGST and Commvault have created a joint technology alliance for HGST and Commvault’s data management platform. HGST has become a fully qualified technology partner that has been validated, tested and supported by both parties,” said Don Foster, senior director, office of the CTO at Commvault. “Customers now have access to the HGST Active Archive System in conjunction with the data management intelligence that Commvault software provides to meet access, retention and archive management goals.”

“Our relationship with Commvault provides a new level of scale and protection, so our customers can better handle the demands of massive data growth, flat budgets and limited IT resources,” said Barbara Murphy, vice president of Marketing, Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit, HGST. “In certifying our HGST Active Archive System with Commvault’s Simpana software suite, customers have access to a highly affordable, simple-to-scale object storage system that beats the economics of traditional cloud infrastructures and provides enterprise-class backup.”

While this isn’t something that the average user will ever have, it is surely something most of us will benefit from without even knowing. It will work its magic in the data centres around the world while serving you online features and functions you use every day.

Corsair Unveils New RMx PSU Series

If you should be in the market for a new power supply or maybe a completely new system, then you might want to take a closer look at corsair’s latest offering. The new Corsair RMx series is 80 Plus Gold certified and comes with 550W, 650W, 750W, 850W and 1000W capacities.

The new series boasts one of the most popular features as of late as it decreases the overall noise in your system. When in low power consumption mode and your system isn’t drawing so much power that it generates too much heat, then the fan will not speed up and thereby create no noise. And we all love a silent system.

The new RMx series PSUs provide the high-quality electrical performance that you’ll want, using only industry-leading 105°C rated Japanese capacitors and specifically selected premium components to ensure long-term reliability and stability under even the most demanding conditions.

The series is fully modular, allowing you to install only the cables you need and keep everything neat and organized and they’re also compatible with Corsair’s wide range of optional cable mods in various colours.

Every PSU in the RMx range is backed by Corsair’s comprehensive 7-year warranty and Corsair’s worldwide customer support network.

The new PSUs should be available now as they are set for a September release and we’re pretty much at the end of that month. The suggested retail prices are $109.99 for the 550W model, $119.99 for the 650W, $129.99 for the 750W, $149.99 for the 850W, and $179.99 for the 1000W model.

Specifications

  • 80 PLUS Gold certified: Up to 90% or better efficiency for less excess heat and lower operating costs.
  • 100% all Japanese 105°C capacitors: Premium internal components ensure excellent electrical performance and long term reliability, even at 50°C ambient temperatures.
  • Zero RPM Fan Mode: Virtually silent operation at low and medium loads.
  • Fully Modular: Only use the cables you need for tidy builds and improved system airflow.
  • Seven-year warranty: A reassuring guarantee of reliability that will last over several system builds.

X-Files Reboot Trailer is Finally Here!

X-Files is one of the most beloved science-fiction TV shows ever made and holds up remarkably well despite its age. The investigative skills of FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully create such a web of intrigue trying to track down extraterrestrial activities. As with any iconic TV-series, passionate fans are desperate for a return but also skeptical about ruining their nostalgic memories. In a rather surprising twist, X-Files is set for a return on January 24th, 2016 with the main cast members reprising their role.

To whet the appetite of science-fiction aficionados, Fox has released a teaser trailer with the focus, “we’ve never been in more danger”. It will be fascinating to see how modern technology is integrated into the narrative, which could make for a stellar series. I’m cautiously optimistic and hopeful the series can live up to everyone’s expectations. The trailer itself evokes quite strong emotions from someone who adores a number of classic X-Files episodes.

If the X-Files reboot is a resounding success, there’s no reason why other cult-classics shouldn’t return. We’ve already seen the continued revival of the science-fiction comedy Red Dwarf which is about to start filming its latest series.

What is your favourite science-fiction show of all time? Do you think it will return to our screens?

Thank you TIME for providing us with this information.

Twitch Completes Dark Souls in 43 Days

Dark Souls is a brutal role-playing-game and offers an unbelievably satisfying experience, making it one of the most addictive games in recent years. Not so long ago, the Twitch comments system was harnessed to complete a wide array of titles including Pokemon! The selection became increasingly more difficult and eventually the ultimate challenge was posed, in Dark Souls. Unbelievably, the Twitch commands in unison have somehow managed to complete Dark Souls in a mere 43 days.

This remarkable feat is somewhat surprising given the chat’s chaotic nature during the first few weeks. There was quite a large amount of trolling going on and people trying to sabotage the project. In an age where people rarely work together, the harmonious teamwork required to complete Dark Souls as a community really is something special.

Twitch Plays Dark Souls 2 is the next step and it will be interesting to see how many days it takes to complete the sequel. I personally found Dark Souls 2 to be easier, but it’s an unknown entity with comment mapped controls. In all honestly, I thought Twitch Plays wouldn’t even get close to finishing the original so this is a major shock.

Have you completed Dark Souls?

Thank you PCGamesN for providing us with this information.

Edward Snowden Joins Twitter – Only Follows NSA

“Can you hear me now?” The stark words of Edward Snowdens first tweet as he joins social media platform Twitter. The account went live recently, gaining 160,000 followers in less than an hour, a number that has skyrocketed to almost 900,000 in less than a day and continues to grow exponentially.

The simple message was retweeted 93,928 times, so it’s obviously something that resonates with his followers. He’s since been a little more vocal too, and given his nature of challenging the order of things, you can bet he’s not going to be a passive user of the platform.

As a slight tongue-in-cheek jab, Snowden only follows one Twitter page, @NSAGov; I’m sure they heard his message and any others loud and clear.

Even better, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Anonymous, WikiLeaks and more have started tweeting at him, sparking a few conversations that have sent Twitter into overload, making Edward Snowden one of the most interesting people to follow on the social media platform right now.

I’m looking forward to more updates from Snowden, if you want to stay tuned to the latest, you can follow him here @Snowden.

AMD Investment Talks Break Down

Remember that rumour about AMD getting a major investment from Silver Lake? It turns out now that talks between the two parties have broken down and are going nowhere right now. According to the source, the talks broke down after disagreements on price and strategy could not be resolved. AMD is still looking at other options though in order to bring in some much-needed cash flow tide them over 2016; Silver Lake was rumoured to take over 20% of the firm.

AMD has had somewhat of a bad month so far. Rumoured reports about a Microsoft acquisition did not pan out, driving share prices back down. Some notable members have also left, with CPU wiz Jim Keller as well as other executives taking their leave. Combined with breaking off the graphics lineup into a separate division; AMD is either cutting costs heavily or undergoing a major restructuring.

Given the breakdown in talks, it looks like either Silver Lake wanted too much control in return for their cash or the current leadership was unwilling to give up any power. Despite the launch of the new Fury and Nano GPUs, AMD is set for record low revenues and the firm is in serious need of cash. Hopefully, AMD will be able to find an investor till the next generation of GPUs and CPUs kick in.

Thank you Bloomberg for providing us with this information

AMD Catalyst 15.9 Beta Driver Released

AMD has announced the release of its new Catalyst beta driver (15.9) which optimises its graphics cards for the beta release of Star Wars: Battlefront and Fable Legends’ DirectX 12 Benchmark, suggesting that the latter is set for release very soon.

The Catalyst 15.9 Beta driver’s changelog is as follows:

Highlights of AMD Catalyst 15.9 Beta Windows Driver

Performance Optimizations
-Star Wars: Battlefront Beta ***8208; Performance and quality optimizations Fable Legends : Includes the latest DirectX 12 optimizations for the Fable Legends: Benchmark.

Resolved Issues:
-Diablo 3 crashes in the Act 2 Desolate Sands area of the game
-The AMD Catalyst Control Center ‘update’ option fails to download the latest driver
-Dragon Age: Inquisition may crash if launched in Mantle mode
-The DirectX® Diagnostic tool does not report DirectX® 12 available on supported products
-World of Warships may crash on some AMD Radeon HD5000 and HD6000 series products
-Assassin’s Creed® Unity may experience minor frame stutter when -AMD CrossFire mode is enabled
-Anti Aliasing settings not being retained after changes are applied
-Some BENQ 144hz Freesync monitors may lose the signal while uninstalling the driver
-DiRT Rally crashes during gameplay and benchmarking when launched in DirectX® 11 mode on some BENQ 144HZ Freesync monitors

Known Issues:
-GTA V crashes on some AMD Radeon R9 390X GPU’s
-Star Wars: Battlefront Bata ***8208; Flickering may be experience if AMD Crossfire is enabled
-Corruption may occur in DiRT Rally with CMAA enabled with Portrait SLS and AMD CrossFire mode enabled
-A black screen may be encountered on bootup on Windows 10 systems. The system will ultimately continue to the Windows login screen.
-Intermittent playback issues with Cyberlink PoweDVD when connecting to a 3D display with an HDMI cable
-A TDR error may be experienced while toggling between minimized and maximized mode while viewing 4K Youtube content
-Elite: Dangerous ***8208; poor performance may be experienced in SuperCruise mode
-Final Fantasy XIV ***8208; Heavensward may crash when run in DirectX 11® mode and borderless window mode
-Some applications may fail to launch on some Mobility platforms when launched in High Performance mode
-Windows 10 driver installation may halt on some systems with an AMD 990FX chipset and AMD CrossFire enabled
-Mad Max ***8208; Color corruption is observed when Alt+Ctrl+Del is pressed followed by the Escape key

AMD’s Catalyst 15.9 beta driver can be downloaded here.

 

The Skarp Laser Razor is Cutting Edge

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, it’s incredibly easy to rush during a morning shave and cut oneself. The traditional razor is functional but the design remains relatively unaltered. Despite this, the engineering team at Skarp have constructed a revolutionary razor which cuts hair without any blades. The high-tech design uses a laser to carefully remove hairs from your skin in a more precise manner. Additionally, the laser has a lifespan in excess of 50,00 hours and powered by a single AAA battery which lasts around a month.

The Skarp Laser Razor is environmentally friendly and significantly reduces the build up of plastic from disposable razors. However, the product doesn’t come cheap and currently costs $159.99 to early backers. I dread to think what the retail price would be but there is some value when you consider the cost of replacement blades. I’m quite fond of the sleek, aluminum design but feel the price is way too much to become a mainstream success story.

There is certainly scope to use this technology in the future, but I’m not convinced consumers will feel comfortable using lasers on their skin.

What do you think of the Skarp Laser Razor?

Thank you HiConsumption for providing us with this information. 

WB Will Make More Batman Games without Rocksteady

Rocksteady, the developer responsible for the lauded Arkham trilogy (pale imitation Batman: Arkham Origin was made by Warner Bros. Games Montréal), might have called time on its Batman series after the recent release of Batman: Arkham Knight, but publisher Warner Bros. insists that it will continue to utilise the Dark Knight in future games, beyond the Traveller’s Tale’s LEGO Batman games and NetherRealm’s Injustice: Gods Among Us.

In an interview with the PlayStation blog, Warner Bros. Vice President of Product Development Ames Kirshen reaffirmed its commitment to delivering further games involving the Caped Crusader. “Batman is one of the cornerstone IPs for Warner Bros,” Kirshen said. “With the Arkham series, we were finally able to realise the full potential of the character. We don’t have anything to talk about at this time, but the possibilities are endless with a character as dynamic and beloved as Batman.”

Batman: Arkham Origins was likely a test-run for when Rocksteady hung up its proverbial cowl after Batman: Arkham Knight, with future Arkham games a distinct possibility, delivered by either Warner Bros. Games Montréal or even Avalanche Studios, fresh of its sojourn into another IP, Mad Max.

Kirshen also suggests that other DC Comics properties could be ripe for game adaptations. “When choosing what DC Entertainment IP we might focus on for any game, it boils down to honing in on the IPs that map the strongest, genre-wise, to what fans are interested in seeing and playing. From there, it’s about getting the development studios with the strongest passion for those IPs to make the games,” Kirshen added.

Thank you PCGamesN for providing us with this information.

Google Announce Second Generation Chromecast And More

A few weeks ago we discussed the possibility of Google announcing and releasing their second generation of the popular streaming hardware Chromecast. It would seem like those rumours have been put to rest with the official announcement of several pieces of hardware today.

Google Chromecast allows you to stream your media to any TV as long as it has an HDMI port to plug the Chromecast into and a USB port to power it. It would seem they want to take its strengths and make it better with the Chromecast 2. Now available in black, orange or yellow the new Chromecast is circular in design and supports 5GHz WiFi for that even faster connection, allowing you to stream 1080p with greater ease. Atop the new design the USB is now at the end of a cable, where the previous Chromecast plugged directly into the HDMI port, sometimes making it difficult to use surrounding  ports or even plugging the Chromecast in. To help even more the new Chromecast will even feature 3 antenee which will be automatically selected and adapted to give you the best signal for streaming and recieving at any moment.

Alongside the Chromecast 2, Google have announced the Chromecast Audio, pictured above on the rights. A streaming device spercifically for your audio. Using the same principles that made the original Chromecast your favourite Google hope to catch your attention again with the Chromecast audio. With the ability to use either optical or standard headphone connections you can plug the Chromecast audio into almost anything with a sound input and have your phone stream your favourite songs from across the room.

Thank you Ars Technica and Tech Crunch for the information.

Image courtesy of Tech Crunch.

Arctic Reveals F-Series Silent Fans

Arctic has just announced its F Silent fan series, which includes a trio of silent yet powerful products aimed at those of you who want nothing but the best as far as cooling goes. The series includes the F8 Silent, F9 Silent and F12 Silent fans, all of which boast an innovative design based on computational fluidic dynamics and a special motor developed in Germany. By using a new combination of alloy and lubricant, Arctic made sure that its new fans would feature low operating noise and an increased service life, both traits being highly sought after by enthusiast PC builders. The F Silent series offers the largest airflow in its class, which is definitely impressive considering the low noise levels.

The F8 Silent costs €5.99 and measures 80x80x25 mm while the F9 Silent comes with a price tag of €6.29 and has a fan size of 92x92x25 mm. The largest offering is the F12 Silent, which costs €7.99 and measures 120x120x25 mm. Below you will find some quick facts about Arctic’s F Silent fan series.

  • Virtually Silent.
  • Highest Airflow in its Class.
  • New alloy/lubricant combination reduces friction.
  • Fluid dynamic bearing extends service life.

Will you be picking up one of these case fans?

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Intel Admits DDR3 RAM Can Damage Skylake Processors

When Intel’s new Skylake processors was announced, the chipmaker said that it would offer limited support for DDR3 RAM. It now seems that not only is that support limited to DDR3L, but that using DDR3 RAM at its default voltage could actually damage Skylake chips.

According to Intel, Skylake’s integrated memory controller (IMC) officially supports DDR3L at 1.35V and DDR4 at 1.2V. Any DDR3 RAM running at a voltage higher than 1.35 could torch the IMC and render the processor inoperable after prolonged exposure.

It does beg the question as to why OEMs like Gigabyte, Asus, and ASRock support DDR3 at 1.5V and 1.65V, respectively? While it won’t damage the board, it will most like affect the chip. Given the option, it seems sensible to opt for the more expensive DDR4.

We also now know that the Skylake IMC can support clock speeds of up to 4,133MHz. The new DDR4 RAM standard currently runs at between 2,133MHz and 3,000MHz, but some RAM kits are already pushing beyond that, with some reaching 4,233MHz. RAM with clock speeds above 4,133MHz is more likely to see errors with Skylake, so until we see Cannonlake or a Skylake Refresh, it’s worth keeping an eye on your RAM’s clock speed.

Thank you Tom’s Hardware for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Softpedia.

First Detailed Public Map of the U.S. Internet Infrastructure Released

The location of major cables has always been a secret, but now researchers hope that the knowledge of it will spark thoughts on how to keep it safe.

The Internet is a major part of people’s lives, in a forever changing world. It’s hard to think of as a whole entity yet it is possible to map the entire thing. Computer scientists at the University of Wisconsin have proved so by releasing the first map of the infrastructure that supports the heart of the US internet. It took Paul Barford and his colleagues four years to produce the map.

Barford told Smithsonianmag:

“The map shows the paths taken by the long-distance fiber-optic cables that carry Internet data across the continental U.S. The exact routes of those cables, which belong to major telecommunications companies such as AT&T and Level 3, have not been previously publicly viewable, despite the fact that they are effectively critical public infrastructure”

There may well be other maps in existence, yet none are in the public domain. Many attempts in the past have been deemed as illegal and a security risk. However, the map has been allowed because homeland security has made the map, the data being available to the public via a project dubbed as “Predict”

This is the map, the black lines are the cables. Red boxes represent where they connect to each other.

Thank you to smithsonianmag for providing us with this information. 

Pictures courtesy of virtuallyfromscratch 

Virgin Media Upgrading Broadband Speeds For Free

Virgin Media has announced a substantial speed upgrade for existing customers across various package tiers. Those on 50Mbps, 100Mbps or 152Mbps will receive a speed boost to 70Mbps, 150Mbps and 200Mbps, respectively. The initial roll-out will begin on October 1st but it could take until the year end to reach the majority of customers. According to Virgin Media, 90% of its users should have received the upgrade by the end of 2015. Gregor McNeil, managing director of consumer at Virgin Media explained:

“Our message is simple: if you want to be certain that you are signing up to true ultrafast broadband speeds of 100Mbps and above, Vivid from Virgin Media is the new standard,” 

“The speed of a customer’s broadband connection matters; when you have more you can do more.”

Currently, Virgin Media has no plans to increase the monthly fee for any of its broadband services. This applies a great deal of pressure on BT as their top package is a mere 76Mbps. Of course, BT is working on its infrastructure to improve things, but Virgin Media’s top package is more than double that of its leading competitor. Therefore, BT has a lot of catching up to do.

Image courtesy of Simply-Communicate.com

Thank you V3 for providing us with this information.

Arctic Announces Semi Passive Freezer CPU Cooler

Arctic has released some impressive cooling solutions in the past, for both CPUs and GPUs. Their newest CPU cooler is the Freezer i32 or a32 depending on whether you’ll want to mount it on an Intel or AMD processor. The really cool thing about this CPU cooler is that it is semi-passive, like we’ve seen quite a bit on graphics cards lately. This effectively means that the fan will not spin up before it is actually needed.

The Freezer is using a 120mm PWM fan that won’t spin up for the first 40% of the scale and comes with quite a nice TDP rating for its size. This CPU cooler is able to keep up to 320 Watts TDP under control and keep an i7-4790K below 50 degrees under full load.

The slim size should prevent any issues with memory clearance or other areas around the CPU. The backplate is secure enough for transport and should keep everything in place in your LAN gaming rig too.

In case you have a system that runs continuously for 24/7, Arctic released the Freezer i32 CO which stands for continues operation. It is specifically designed for these kinds of systems in mind while still performing great and for a long time.

Feature Highlights

  • Improved cooling performance
  • German fan controller
  • Improved Bearing
  • Optimal compatibility through lower footprint
  • Transport safe due to a back-plate and a lower weight
  • MX-4 thermal compound included

The Freezer i32/A32 is now available for a price of £49.99 while the CO version costs a little more and is available for £59.99.

AMD Loses Two Major Industry Figures

AMD’s woeful fiscal position and declining GPU market share has caused a great deal of speculation regarding the company’s future, with commentators suggesting a buy-out is imminent. AMD recently reversed the discrete graphics card market trend which marks a promising return to form. However, it seems like all is not well at AMD and two of the company’s major figures have left this week. Fiona Faulkner, International Channel Sales and Marketing leader handed in her resignation.

Similarly, AMD’s Channel Manager, Leon Callon has allegedly left the company and the Twitter user-name, “AMD_Leon” no longer exists. This is a worrying development and suggests AMD’s management is in a complete mess. In theory, this could indicate a takeover or restructuring in difficult times. It’s impossible to know if these two individuals left of their own accord.

It’s sad to see AMD’s decline and the company really is in a delicate position. Hopefully, the upcoming Zen CPU architecture will help financially, but long-term prospects look very bleak. Previously, rumors have suggested a takeover from either Samsung or Microsoft, which could help AMD’s research and development budget.

Clearly, AMD is in a very difficult position and I hope they can recover and keep their talented staff.

Windows 10 Has Been Installed Over 100 Million Times

Windows 10 is definitely enjoying more popularity when compared to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. Microsoft’s latest operating system has already been installed more than 100 million times in just two months, and these numbers are only going to increase as time goes by. Actually, Microsoft wants to reach one billion Windows 10 installs in the next three years, and I’d say that this goal is definitely achievable. One reason behind the OS’s incredible success is probably the easy and free upgrade path for those who are running Windows 7 and 8.1. There are even reports of pirated versions of Windows who were eligible for an upgrade, and surely they contributed to the 100 million installs that we mentioned before.

Furthermore, gamers were definitely eager to upgrade their OS in order to prepare for future DirectX 12 games. Previous versions of Windows don’t support the new API, which means that those who want to keep up with the latest titles will pretty much have to switch over to Windows 10 sooner or later. With the impending launch of Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 for Xbox One, Microsoft’s new OS will find its way to even more systems in the following years. Have you upgraded to Windows 10 yet?

Thank you TechSpot for providing us with this information.

Latest GTA V Mod Unleashes a Deadly UFO Attack!

Grand Theft Auto V is a lot of fun, but if you’re getting tired of fighting cops and gangs on the city streets, this new mod may be just what you’re looking for to liven up the action!

GTA V’s UFO Hunters is complete carnage, you simply pick how many alien ships you want to attack the city, hit go, the suffer the consequences. The goal is to blast as many of the flying saucers as possible out of the sky, without being killed yourself. Easier said than done, though, as the ships fire powerful blue plasma weapons, as well as suck cars and people up off the ground before firing them back down, so hazards are literally everywhere.

The mod certainly looks like a lot of fun, although I can’t think of many gaming situations where heavy weapons and alien shooting wasn’t fun! To get the mod up and running, you’ll need to download the mod, Script Hook 5 and the Community Scripthook 5 net, which you can find on the links below.

While you’re waiting for that to download, check out the video below and let us know what you think in the comments section below!

https://youtu.be/kZ2z631WX3M