Neptune Triple 32″ OCUK Monitor Stand Review

Introduction


I’ve never personally been a fan of the desktop monitor stands, they’re large, heavy and expensive. Although the main reason I’ve never liked them is because I’ve never had enough monitors to buy one; until now. Since upgrading our test bench to triple 4K 28″ monitors, I’ve had to resort to putting the monitors in portrait just to fit on my desk; despite it being custom-made and a lot larger than most other that you can buy on the market.

There are many options on the market, but something caught my eye back at iSeries in April that OverclockersUK had made available. It was an OCuK designed monitor stand that could support up to THREE 32″ monitors. The stand looked simply stunning and was finished off with red highlights to incorporate the colour scheme from the OCUK logo. This was announced around a year ago and seemingly went under the radar, it seems monitor stands just aren’t that important to review, yet make a triple monitor set-up so much easier and pain-free.

The Neptune stand is an absolute beast with one of the largest base plates I’ve seen and it weighs just under 15Kg excluding monitors. There’s not much more to say, so let’s just get cracking and see what this thing can do.

AMD R9 380X 4GB Graphics Card CrossFire Review

Introduction


Here at eTeknix, we strive to give the consumer the best possible advice in every aspect of technology. Today is no different and we are excited to bring you the CrossFireX review of the newly released R9 380X graphics cards.

Based on the R9 380, which was based on the R9 285, the R9 380X was designed to fit the gap that was obvious between the R9 380 and R9 390. Priced at just under £200, sales have proven strong in the first weeks and board partners have given their models the usual overclocking treatment with the average clock speed of around 1030MHz being around 50MHz higher than the ‘reference’ design.

Through our testing of both the XFX DD and Sapphire Nitro models, it was evident that performance wasn’t as high as I hoped and still left a gap to fill under the R9 390. Reviewing the Rx 200 series lineup, the R9 285 was an extremely late arrival. It was based on architecture we were familiar with, but it introduced GCN 1.2 which is the foundation of the brand new R9 Fury range. To me, this leaves a gap for an R9 385 to be introduced to the market and the next step in the graphics card race for late 2016.

When we test in CrossFireX, we aim to use two identical graphics card to ensure that everything is as similar as possible. When using the same cards, you can almost guarantee the same cooling capabilities, power draw, core clock and other variables. This then gives us the best possible outcome for maximum performance as the computer does not need to compensate for any differences.

The Crystal Maze is Coming Back!

Do you remember back to when times were good? No impending doom or missile attacks or bomb threats, just sat down around a TV and watching a random group of people humiliate themselves while you sit at home and gloat that you could have done it better. Yes, I am talking about that old gem (pun intended) that is The Crystal Maze. I used to sit at home on a Sunday afternoon watching re-runs while removing the similar fake crystal curtain pole ends to pretend with.

The show was all about conquering the crystal maze with as many crystals (and contestants) as possible. The more crystals equalled more time and more people meant a higher chance of catching golden tickets in the final round. To get to the final round, a small team had to take on multiple challenges based in four different sections of “The Crystal Maze”. Each section would be similar to the others, but with a dissimilar theme; including Industrial, Aztec, Futuristic and Medieval.

The show finally came to and end in 1995 when the show wasn’t renewed for further seasons and the set remained unused and finally dismantled in 1999. That’s until some die hard fans took it upon themselves to start an IndieGoGo campaign to bring the show back to life. The trio launched the campaign in hopes to get just £500,000, but the public saw this and donated a huge £933,000 to make sure this happens.

Why such a big threshold? Well it’s not for a TV show, this time you can purchase a £50 ticket and run amock in the authentic remade set with Richard O’Brien narrating in certain spots and he may even be your host. It is being rebuilt in a secret part of London which is “easily accessible” according to the FAQ, let’s hope it doesn’t stay secret for much longer.

This is probably something a portion of our readers won’t actually know what we’re on about with this, so for those who are interested here is a video of the first episode, enjoy!

https://youtu.be/TrDUdOgpNsI

Volvo Is Testing In-Car Delivery System

Do you remember back in April Amazon announced plans to make deliveries to the boot of your car? No? Well, it seems nothing has come of it yet, so Volvo has taken the reigns with Swedish postal company PostNord to offer this system in Sweden.

Try and think of all of the times where you have been at work, out of town or even just so lazy that you didn’t get out of bed to catch that 7:45am delivery. Now try to think of that delivery never being missed again because you can have that packed dropped safely into the boot of your car and locked away until you pick it up. That’s the ideal plan set out by this joint venture of Volvo and PostNord.

The process is simple, you place your order, tell the delivery company your car location and a special uniquely generated entry code for your car and wait for the item to be delivered.

I still have my reservations for this process though, what if you forget about that laptop you left on the back seat or that money in the centre console just ripe for the picking? I know that the selected drivers would have to pass security tests, but still.

Radeon Settings: Crimson Edition Performance Analysis

Introduction


To coincide with the recent Radeon Settings: Crimson Edition release, here is our full look into the performance side using our base Windows 8.1 test system. As we all know by now, Radeon Settings is the official release name of the recently discontinued Catalyst Control Center software and comes from the newly formed Radeon Technologies graphics division.

Radeon Settings: Crimson Edition sets out to put AMD back on the map with drivers and customer support, something that has let them down in the past and ridiculed on many forums and member bases. Moving from sporadic releases of non-WHQL certified drivers, the aim is to now release 6 WHQL drivers a year with interim updates, which isn’t as many as the Green team, but it’s a vast improvement from recent years and a huge step in the right direction.

Putting stability as the core of this software, four main pillars of User Experience, Features, Performance and Efficiency are what will make the bulk of the software.

From the first look, we saw a decent improvement in performance for the sample cards and tests, but now it’s time to test our entire catalogue of AMD graphics cards from the Fury and 300 series to see how this driver really stacks up.

AOC G2460PG 24″ G-Sync Monitor Review

Introduction


I’ve never really been a fan of buying a monitor, I tend to only look at three key aspects; screen size, resolution and the overall appearance. While that is generally a good way to choose a monitor, there are a multitude of other features that require your attention depending on your intended use.

If you are a gamer or avid video editor, the response time and refresh rates would be of key interest to you to ensure that there is little input lag from your input device and that there is little screen tearing. Professional photograph editors may be less interested in those features, but the contrast ratio, brightness and available colours are more important.

Today we have the gaming orientated AOC G2460PG G-Sync enabled monitor. One of the cheapest G-Sync enabled monitors on the market at approximately £300. While this still isn’t cheap, you have to pay for the quality and performance that G-Sync will bring to your gaming experience. This monitor packs in a great feature set, with an ultra low 1ms response time, 144Hz and a huge 80m:1 contrast ratio. This monitor also features Ultra Low Motion Blur (ULMB), which drastically reduces the blur on screen which can occur in some face paced games such as the racing genre. I will not be testing this feature as it can only be activated with G-Sync off.

Packaging and Features

The front of the box is very plain, focusing primarily on the logo, screen and key details regarding the monitor such as QHD and IPS panel type. The image displayed on the monitor itself leads itself to be desired more by the professional buyer than the general gaming enthusiast.

AOC kept the website clean with more professionalism for those looking for information. The key features that were outlined apart from the QHD and 3-Year warranty are AOC flicker-free technology, integrated speakers and ergonomic stand.

 

Sapphire Nitro R9 380X 4GB Graphics Card Review with Back Plate!

Introduction


If you’ve been reading up on the latest R9 380X range, you may have seen stories and possibly even reviews that the performance wasn’t as high as many expected. I one of those who was very disappointed with the performance when compared to the R9 380 and R9 390 graphics cards by being around 10% faster than the R9 380. I really shouldn’t be complaining, at a sub £200 price point, the R9 380X is poised as a great 1440p graphics card; albeit with some settings lowered to medium or high from ultra.

Today in the test bench we have the Sapphire Nitro R9 380X. Fitting in nicely to the current Nitro range from Sapphire at just £199.99, this card features an identical cooling design as the R9 380 but with one huge visual improvement, which I will disclose later. The card features 16K capacitors for ultra long life and an increased core and memory clock to 1040MHz and 6000MHz respectively, so we should expect improved performance over what we have been witnessing so far.

Before anyone starts chanting “rebrand”, stop! As much as I agree that this is technically a rebrand, I’m now actually re-wording that to remanufacturing. A rebrand would be taking the R9 285, put a new cooling design on there and calling it an R9 380 with no other changes. However, the R9 380 and R9 380X are remanufactured with a much more precise manufacturing procedure to squeeze as much performance as possible from the Antigua GPU Core.

Packaging and Accessories

The Nitro box has changed for this card compared to the rest of the R9 Nitro range. We now have a simple portrait style box without a window to show off the contents.

I really think Sapphire want everyone to know that this card has a back plate fitted.

Accessories are simple, general paper based material, driver disk, case sticker and DVI to VGA adapter.

Black Friday is in Full Swing with MSI Notebooks

There’s so many technology deals worth mentioning today that some can get washed out. MSI Notebooks are some of the best on the planet and very rarely go on offer. This year, however, multiple retailers have different models on offer with savings of up to £200! Here is a quick Top 5 round-up:

1. MSI GE72 Apache from AmazonUK for £1099. This is available with Amazon Prime for next day delivery also.

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 6700HQ
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
  • RAM: 12GB DDR4 Memory – 2133Mhz
  • Storage: 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD
  • Screen Size: 17.3” Full HD – 1920 x 1080
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10

2. MSI GT72S Dominator Pro from OverclockersUK for £1,679.99.

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 6700HQ
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 Memory – 2133Mhz
  • Storage: 1TB HDD + 256GB NVMe PCI-E Gen3 SSD
  • Screen Size: 17.3” PLS G-Sync Full HD – 1920 x 1080
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10

3. MSI GP62 and GP 72 Leopart from CCLonline for £629.99 and £649.99 respectively.

  • Processor: Intel Core i5 4210H
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 940M
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3 Memory – 1600Mhz
  • Storage: 1TB HDD
  • Screen Size: 15.6”/17.3” Full HD – 1920 x 1080
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10

4. MSI GP72 Leopard Pro from Scan Computers for just £679.99.

  • Processor: Intel Core i5 4210H
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
  • RAM: 12GB DDR3 Memory – 1600Mhz
  • Storage: 1TB HDD
  • Screen Size: 17.3” Full HD – 1920 x 1080
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10

5. MSI GE62 Apache from Save on Laptops for £899.97.

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 5700HQ
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
  • RAM: 16GB DDR3 Memory – 1600Mhz
  • Storage: 1TB HDD
  • Screen Size: 15.6” Full HD – 1920 x 1080
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10

Vibox is Offering an Amazing “Level up” Deal!

Are you in the market of a new pre-built gaming computer? With the current Black Friday deals, it would be hard to ignore how good some are and system builders Vibox have jumped on the band-wagon with an incredible deal.

Buy one of the appropriate computers from them and checkout with the code “LEVELUP” to upgrade your graphics card to the next model up in the range. So buy a GTX 970 will be bumped to a GTX 980 or R9 380 will be bumped to the R9 390. This excludes the AMD R9 Fury range and the NVIDIA Titan X.

This is an incredible offer meaning you could potentially save yourself hundreds. An example of an incredible saving would be to buy the WARPATH gaming computer, which currently comes in at £1659.59 with a GTX 980 graphics card. This would be bumped up to a GTX 980Ti for free.

If you are on a bit of a budget, the Element PRO at £629.94 would be a logical choice. Currently equipped with an R7 370, this deal allows you to upgrade to a much better R9 380 graphics card.

If I was in the market for a new computer, I know where I would be looking this holiday season. Be quick, limited to just 100 codes!

Overclockers UK Black Friday Deals are now Live!

Is it just me or is Black Friday turning into Black Weekend? I’m pretty sure last year retailers only held deals on the actual day and some into the weekend for Cyber Monday. Most places that offer deals either have a small selection of products for an epic 50% off or a huge selection for a much smaller discount. Overclockers UK take that typical process and have thrown it out of the window with this years Black Friday deals by not only having the typical Weekly deals (which is one of the largest ever for OcUK), but also have some outstanding deals for the Black Friday event itself.

Some of the deals listed are insane such as the ASUS PB287Q 4K monitor for under £310, which is an impressive 20% off retail.

Others are even better such as the Compact Bitfenix Colossus M Mini ITX for an outstanding £27.95. For those who like percentages, that’s 56% off!

The deals don’t end there, you can kit out your computer with new RAM, a new seat to keep those gaming adventures comfortable or annihilate the competition with multiple NVIDIA GTX 980Ti offers. The deals will stay active until December 1st or until stocks last, but at these prices I’d get in there quick. Now where did I put my wallet?

What are you waiting for? GO GET SOME!

Noctua Introduce 24V Industrial Fans

It’s not every day we report about fans, there’s something boring about the parts considering that a huge proportion of PC users have at least one in their system. The technical jargon can get some people to dunk their heads in the sand and plump for the one with the flashiest colour or simply the cheapest price. But for those who are serious about cooling and the longevity of the high-performance parts inside the case, high-quality fans are a must!

Noctua is probably the biggest name in air cooling, producing some of the most iconic fans in dreadful colours and today it announced four new offerings into the IndustrialPPC line up, all in 24V variety.

“The launch of our industrialPPC line has allowed us to expand our base of industrial clients as we’re now able to provide solutions for highly challenging environments and to meet much higher demands as far as airflow and pressure performance are concerned”, says Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). “Since many of our industrial clients work with 24V, we’re now offering extra versions for 24V applications.”

Even though the fans have been designed for 24V Industrial applications, they run at a maximum of 3000RPM in 24V and 1700RPM in 12V. They can be lowered further by the use of PWM, so if you really wanted to spend the 29.90€ price tag, you won’t have to worry about noise or trying to figure out how to power these bad boys.

If the price tag wasn’t enough to put you off, take a look at the product pages below.

NF-F12 industrialPPC-24V-2000 IP67 PWM

NF-F12 industrialPPC-24V-3000 IP67 PWM

NF-A14 industrialPPC-24V-2000 IP67 PWM

NF-A14 industrialPPC-24V-3000 IP67 PWM

Figment VR: The Pocket Sized VR Experience

From time to time we take a break from the heavy work in the office to take a look at the future of technology. Not by checking out the specifications of the Apple iPhone 7 or Samsung Gear 3, but what backstreet innovators around the world think needs to be created. Kickstarter is a perfect place to have a look and the newest project looks simply amazing.

Today I happened to stumble across something that will make VR accessible (and stylish) for everyone. Figment is a mobile phone case with VR goggles attached.

VR started out on Kickstarter a few years ago with the Oculus Rift, this isn’t exactly a mobile option though and designed to work with high-powered computers. Google then released Cardboard which tapped into the power of mobile devices, but the box was bulky to carry around and likely to break.

Kickstarter backer pledges seem pretty reasonable with an Early Bird $49 offer but now has increased to $55 with over 300 left so be quick to grab this offer. For that price, you get a stylish phone case with VR and AR capabilities and not only that, it has a kickstand for your phone too.

The campaign has already hit the original production goal of $75,000, but you can still donate here. This is currently only available to iPhone 6 users, but there are plans on the way to release versions for popular Android and Windows Phone users.

EE Announce Plans to Block “Intrusive ads”

United Kingdom based mobile network EE (Merger of Orange and T-Mobile) have announced plans to offer ad blocking services to anyone using the mobile network.

Olaf Swantee, Everything Everywhere (EE) CEO, demonstrated this new feature himself showing what would happen to the Web if his company did block mobile ads. This feature is far from revolutionary, desktop users have been blessed with this for many years in the form of the popular Adblock Plus. In recent years, this software has made its way to mobiles and in the latest iOS 9, Apple has included a similar blocking feature for certain content.

The main use for Ad Blockers is more prominent on free to use games and services such as YouTube where an Ad may pop up between each song or every half way through a long video. By doing this, you are reducing the revenue being paid to the developers and uploaders of the content which is why we have seen a sharp rise in Pay-to-use services such as YouTube Red.

Swantee stated the aim was not to block all mobile ads, but the more intrusive ones. By this, we are assuming those highly annoying full-page ads that you sometimes encounter while trying to view certain webpages.

eMarketer predicted that UK marketers would spend around £3.2bn on mobile marketing for 2015. This list could become a marketing tool for EE who could then block all ads and sell specific ad spaces to selected companies.

AMD Radeon Software: Crimson Edition First Look and Testing

Introduction


The day has finally come where AMD’s Catalyst Control Center has taken its last installation breath and the brand new AMD Radeon Software package is released. We initially had teasers of this software a few weeks ago on November 2nd and now we are pleased to announce that it is finally here for public download. We have been using Catalyst Control Center for around 13 years with very few graphical design changes in that time, it worked for the most part and that was about it. Personally I found it too information heavy and it needed either a re-designed interface or a simpler navigation menu.

Dubbed Radeon Software: Crimson Edition, it doesn’t really flow off the tongue like CCC or Catalyst 15.## did, but we are likely to see a similar numbered structure once Crimson hits full stride in January. The Radeon Software name is pretty self-explanatory, but Crimson takes a little more explaining to fully understand. Yes the ‘AMD’ colour is Red and that has been passed onto Radeon Technologies as a signature colour, but Red is only one word for a whole host of different shades such as Current, Jam and Sangria. Yes these are typical shades of red, though likely less known compared to Scarlet, Blood and Rose. It’s not fully clear whether we will be seeing software colour changes with every annual release to match the name or if the same brushed metal background will be consistent for the upcoming releases.

Here is a quick overview of the key points of Crimson Edition which focus on a key base of stability with four pillars of User Experience, Features, Performance and Efficiency. All of these together aim to produce the best overall consumer experience, whether you are gaming or just a general day-to-day user. A full explanation into these will be on the Third Page.

Without going into too much detail here, let’s get into what is aimed to make Radeon Software: Crimson Edition a new era in graphical software drivers.

Performance Overview: The Last AMD CCC 15.11.1 Beta

Introduction


An unforeseen turn of events has taken place over the last few months. AMD split up its Processor and Graphics divisions and we recently heard the demise of Catalyst Control Centre to make way for Radeon Software. I for one was not expecting to see a graphics driver before the Radeon Software: Crimson Edition was released. Why do I think this? If AMD is struggling as much as turnover figures and rumours suggest, why would it waste effort on something that is being discontinued for a new version. That’s like announcing HBMv2 will be released in January but releasing an entire range of graphics cards on HBMv1 in December. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, far from it, I welcome AMD driver updates because it shows that it is still in the running and recent news suggests that more funding will be invested into the graphics drivers in the future to level the playing field with NVIDIA. Early reports suggest that this new driver and the one just before, 15.11, are very good performance enhancing versions for newer games such as Star Wars Battlefront, Fallout 4, Assassins Creed, etc…

So today we take a look at the very last CCC driver, 15.11.1 Beta. If you are unaware, the naming is simply [Year].[Month]; the additional; “.#” is if there are two or more updates within a month and then it would just be named in chronological order. This makes it extremely easy to understand which is the latest drive to work for you and troubleshooting is technically made easier if you can only remember approximately when you started having problems (if driver related).

This new driver doesn’t really bring anything new in terms of features apart from an updated list of graphics cards that are applicable for higher support Virtual Super Resolution modes such as the R9 380 being able to support 3840×2160.

Star Wars Battlefront Bundles with R9 Fury

Prepare your wallets, the Force is coming! If you haven’t already heard, Winter 2015 is probably going to be re-branded as Star Wars Season. Not only are we getting Star Wars Episode VII (no more Jar Jar Binks), we are eagerly anticipating Star Wars Battlefront. If you don’t know what Battlefront is, just imagine all of the best Star Wars battles rolled into one game in a huge 40 player laser gun fight and the original score as your motivational music.

The beta was a huge success with hundreds of thousands of players getting in on the action. AMD wants a piece of that and has announced the brand new bundle of Battlefront with every purchase of an R9 Fury graphics cards.

The offer is available From November 17th 2015 to January 31st 2016 and the code can be redeemed up until February 29th 2016, yes I had to double-check that next year was in fact a leap year too.

If you’re not quite sure on an upgrade, why not check out our review of the Sapphire Tri-x R9 Fury, which can be purchased for £429.95 from OcUK or $499.99 from Newegg US. Those of you who have recently purchased an R9 Fury with this code can redeem it here!

Have you already tried Battlefront or own an R9 Fury graphics card? Why not tell us about your experiences down in the comments.

XFX DD R9 380X 4GB Graphics Card Review

Introduction


We’ve been reporting pretty close on the new AMD R9 300 series since launch and with multiple reviews, we know a thing or two about them such as the huge performance difference between the R9 380 and R9 390 graphics cards. Today we take a look at the brand new R9 380X provided by XFX. Based on the Antigua XT GPU with GCN 1.2, this is the newest architecture to come from AMD apart from Fiji which is featured on the R9 Fury range.

When we tested the R9 380, it just didn’t have the grunt to push acceptable frame rates at 1440p, but the R9 390 was too expensive to justify those few extra FPS. This is where the R9 380X comes in, priced at just under £190 ($240), this is almost slap bang in the middle of the two. As with most of the R9 300 series, this card has DirectX 12 support, FreeSync Technology, Virtual Super Resolution (VSR) and Frame Rate Target Control which effectively caps your total FPS to save power in non-demanding games such as Tomb Raider.

Generally at this point we would take a look at the packaging and accessories, however, this was a press sample which came in a boring brown box and we don’t want any pictures of that, do you?

Get Yourself Prepared for Black Friday 2015 with Amazon Prime

It’s that time of year again where retailers will stop at nothing to clinch that early Holiday season sale. In years gone by, Black Friday has been in the forefront of the news over the absolutely bonkers deals on or immediately after the last payday before December 25th; typically the last Friday in November.

This year we have heard that some UK retailers are actually pulling out of any Black Friday association due to the chaos it brought upon the outlets last year. This probably won’t stop them joining in with another event, retailer Argos has recently entered “Blue Friday“, with the tagline “It’s Black Friday Every Weekend”.

If you don’t fancy rambling out to the shops, Amazon has announced another repetitive, but outstanding £20 off Amazon Prime until Wednesday 18th November. This means you can enjoy that glass of wine while browsing the sales and knowing you will likely get the item the next day. As an added benefit, you will also have access Prime Video, Prime Music and Amazon Cloud drive meaning after you have bought your last gift you can settle down and watch the latest TV series or decorate that tree to uninterrupted Christmas songs.

For the fans of Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, buying this now means you will have full access to the Amazon Exclusive show which will be streamed in 2016.

What are you waiting for? Some motivational music? Well, we’ve got you covered.

Google Lets You Experience Museums From Your Chair!

For those who are interested in the museum trip, you can now do it from the comfort of your own home. Engadget has reported that Google is teaming up with the British Museum in London to bring you a Street View style viewing experience of the internal museum itself. This has been recorded in a similar style as the Street View cars by moving around a camera dolly in traditional walking places around the museum floor. Google already has a Cultural Insitute, so this new venture will add over 4,500 extra pieces including detailed photos and descriptions.


Head on over to the Google Street View Cultural Insitute experience and take a free virtual stroll around the museum.

In addition to this system, Google has compiled a microsite called “The Museum of the World”. This is a collection of all stored artifacts in a timeline for you to look into what art/design was popular across different cultures at different time periods.

I can see something like this really taking off with the consumer introduction of Virtual Reality (VR) in the near future and it will really open up the world to those who are bed bound or hospitalised. Would you use a system like this to visit, or would you prefer the experience of physically walking around the location yourself?

What Happens to an iPhone in a Car Accident?

At some point, we can all probably admit picking up our phones while behind the wheel of the car, even if it’s just to get it out of your pocket because the vibration is annoying. Even worse than that, a small percentage of drivers go further and actually use the phone while driving. We all know the legal and most safety consequences of doing this, but what about the airbags in the event of a crash?

The people over at EverythingApplePro has gone and tested this for us in a very Mythbusters style by pitting multiple iPhone 6S phones against airbags in different scenarios.

For those that do not have a stable internet connection, the testing pretty much shows multiple iPhones getting destroyed.

I can safely say that it is scary what happened to the device. I know that in most cases there are never two airbags directed at each other, but in some newer cars there are airbags very close to each other to protect front and side impacts. Imagine if they caught your hand while holding the device?

This channel previously tested whether an iPhone would be a viable alternative to conventional brake pads, I can tell you that they’re not.

Image Courtesy of TechTimes

Vending Machines Big Enough to Sell Full-Size Cars?

One of the most painful experiences as an adult is having to use a vending machine, 9/10 times the stupid thing gets stuck and you either have to do the walk of shame to the person with the keys or give the machine a naughty shake. Well, the technology has been making the move towards a much larger and more expensive product, namely your potential new car.

Carvana is now setting out to revolutionise the way that we buy and collect our new cars. Instead of the traditional method of going to the dealership and then walking out to your car and drive it home, you can no almost complete the transaction without human contact. You order your car online, drive to a collection point and insert a special token that is encoded and the delivery system picks up your car and pushes it to your feet.

This is by far not the first time this style of delivery system has been implemented and it’s not the largest version either, being beaten to both by Volkswagen HQ in Germany.

I can see the appeal for this style system, remove the sales person and save money. Remove the valet/ parking attendant and all potential human parking error is removed. I honestly don’t see the point of this new system unless there is one in every town and a chauffeur to take you there. You still have to find a way to go collect the car, you still have to wait for the car to become ready, you still have to use your feet dang it!

12K (Triple 4K Monitors) SLI & Crossfire Graphics Card Review

Introduction


Following on from our highly popular ’12K’ (Triple 4K Monitor) Upgrade, we have new graphics cards which we can update the results with. Since the original article, things got a bit hectic and cards were coming and going extremely quickly. This meant that we didn’t have enough time in one sitting to correctly configure and run the tests as the second (or even third) card needed to be sent on to another media. We are now happy to bring you a long-awaited update featuring graphics cards such as the R9 Fury, R9 Nano and SLI GTX 980Ti’s. The list still isn’t complete with gaps such as SLI Titan X and CrossFire R9 Fury, but once we get these cards in for long enough, we will carry out another update.

With 4K monitors becoming the norm in today’s enthusiast gaming set-up, thanks to the ever decreasing price of these monitors and the increasing performance supplied by single cards; it’s not surprising that some users are combining multiple units. Some will have these monitors for the simply epic screen size and productivity potential, others will simply use them for an upgrade to the current surround gaming experience. Personally I don’t like 4K resolution unless it’s on a large screen, anything under 32″ makes the pixels so small they are hard to see and then you would just have to increase the sizes of font, which defeats (some of) the object.

Gigabyte Expand “XTREME” High End Graphics Cards

For a long time, Gigabyte has held the top spot for the most outrageous yet powerful graphics cards on the market. Just look at the simply huge 300+mm G1 Gaming series which has some of the best benchmarks that we’ve seen and then they can be overclocked to an entirely different level.

Today Gigabyte has officially announced the full line-up from the G1 Gaming, “XTREME GAMING”. On the face of it, the cards just look like a rebranded G1 Gaming line-up, using a similar Windforce style cooling solution, but these cards have been redesigned from the PCB out to give enthusiasts the very best chance to attain the best performance. This follows the extremely well-received GTX 950 XTREME GAMING edition released previously.

The most notable addition to the range is the custom cooling design for the NVIDIA Titan X, but the most interesting features are equipped to the GTX 980Ti model which features an additional 6 Pin power connector (yes on top of the pre-existing dual 8-pin) and LN2 BIOS for the ultimate overclocking experience.

The entire range up to the GTX 980Ti will feature RGB lighting to the WINDFORCE logo and an addition ring around the fans. Currently the only images of the range we can source are for the XTREME GAMING GTX 970.

“XTREME Performance

The XTREME GAMING Series graphics card are forged with the top-notch GPU core through the very own GPU Gauntlet Sorting technology that guarantees an exceptional overclocking proficiency in terms of power switching. Along with the substantial factory overclock compared to the reference design, the memory is also overclocked to deliver the sharpest and smoothest gameplay results.

Built for ultimate overclocking, the GTX 980 Ti XTREME GAMING is further equipped with LN2 BIOS and an extra 6-pin PCI-E power connector, giving overclockers the maximum freedom to tweak the performance to the extremes with the simple press of a button.

XTREME Cooling

Each air-cooling XTREME GAMING graphics card features the WINDFORCE 3X triple-fan system with composite copper heat-pipes, special fin architecture, unique blade fan design, and GIGABYTE ‘Triangle Cool’ technology, together keeping the graphics card nice and cool even when reaching its peak.

The WINDFORCE 3X triple-fan system also features 3D-Active fan, the first 0dB semi-passive fan design introduced by GIGABYTE back in 2007 and has been leading the way to date. This technology allows gamers to enjoy gameplay in absolute silence during light gaming or idle without any distraction by noise. Users can be well aware of the fan status with the LED indicator on the top of the card while gaming.

Both the TITAN X and the GTX 980 Ti XTREME GAMING WINDFORCE edition further adopt the alternate spinning fan design, as the middle fan spins in the reverse direction to optimize air flow to dissipate heat more effectively. This innovative design significantly enhances the thermal efficiency of the available cooling area, delivering a heat dissipation capacity up to 700W for accomplishing higher performance at a lower temperature.

The GTX 980 Ti XTREME GAMING also offers the WATERFORCE edition for those favor the liquid cooling solution. The exclusive all-in-one, closed-loop water cooling system features the full-coverage cooling module covering not only the GPU, but also the heat-generating VRAM and MOSFET. This design requires no additional fan like other competitions in its class for a much superior acoustic performance.

The robust FEP tubes can effectively prevent the leak and fare a lower coolant evaporation rate. Coupled with the 120mm silent fan and the low-noise pump, the graphics card is able to perform up to 38.8% cooler than the reference cooling in operating temperature for ultra-stable gaming in near silence.

XTREME Protection

Armored with a metal back plate, each XTREME GAMING graphics card is thoroughly applied with a breathable coating to shield against moisture, dust, and corrosion for a complete protection. This aerospace-grade coating is ideal for users who live in regions with high humidity, salt air pollution or extreme temperatures. Hardcore gamers who practice water-cooling or even LN2 overclocking could also benefit from this unique feature to reduce the risks of damages caused by coolant residue or leaks.

The XTREME GAMING graphics cards are also fitted with a smart power LED indicator next to the power connectors (available on selected models). When experiencing any power abnormality, the indicator will alert gamers by flashing light. Abnormal power-related events will recorded in the system as well through OC GURU utility software as a useful reference for troubleshooting.

XTREME Outlook

In addition to the stylish metal back plate, the stealth aesthetics of the XTREME GAMING series graphics cards is now backlit with brand new RGB LED illumination, which corresponds to the excitement of XTREME GAMING with a premium gaming look.

The exclusive LED angle eyes are first seen in graphics cards that light up the cooling fans along with the WINDFORCE emblem (available on selected models). Gamers are able to customize their own builds that best suit their gaming ambience with multiple color options and light effects using OC GURU.

XTREME Durability

Compared to the reference design, the XTREME GAMING series graphics cards are equipped with extra power phases to make the MOSFET working at a lower temperature, whilst providing more stable voltage output. The featuring over temperature protection and load balance to each MOSFET can also effectively extend the card life.

The XTREME GAMING graphics cards are all reinforced with top quality components to bring gamers with the extreme durability ever. Using the highest-grade chokes and capacitors, these graphics cards deliver the ultimate integration of thermal, electric characteristics, digital signals, power circuitry for enhanced results and longer system lifespan.

XTREME User Friendliness

The XTREME GAMING graphics cards support GIGABYTE OC GURU to provide gamers with an unlimited OC capability and full control through its intuitive interface. Users can easily perform precise control on the graphics card, including core clock adjustment, fan speed, power or temperature targets, and LED illuminations. These main features not only increase the overclocking ability but also deliver superior presentation to let gamers enjoy the all-around gaming experience.

Built with fully automated manufacturing process, which eliminates human interventions, the XTREME GAMING graphics cards remove all sharp edges of the solder connectors and pins to provide a rather smooth PCB surface for a more user-friendly DIY experience when building or modding gaming PCs.”

For more information on the XTREME GAMING range, check out the product pages here.

Disney Hacks a Smart-Watch and Your Body!

In everyday life, we come into contact with hundreds, if not thousands of items. Some we knowingly touch such as our phones or our computer peripherals, but what about that spoon that we compulsively pick up every time we go into the kitchen, no just me?

Most of the items we touch are insulated, but most give off a small electromagnetic ‘noise’ which our bodies can pick up because we are pretty impressive conductors. Disney has partnered with Carnegie Mellon University and has hacked together a proof-of-concept that can pick up the noise that travels through our bodies in real-time and displays the object on the display. The group calls this innovation “EM-Sense”.

Ars Technica reports the device has been created by essentially hacking a Samsung Galaxy Gear with a host of bulky tech such as a “software-defined radio receiver” to allow the watch to more accurately determine what is being used, with a current accuracy rating of just over 96%.

If you want to try your hand at this yourself, the researchers say that the setup is something “hobbyists can replication” and will cost “under $10” (assuming you already own a Galaxy Gear).

Personally I really like this idea, but this sort of technology could be manipulated and abused. In the future, the information stored could be sold/ used by the device manufacturer to display ad’s for products, or what if the device could be hacked and it knows when you go to an ATM and determine what buttons you press on the keypad for your pin number.

Do you think this technology would be too intrusive? Let us know in the comments.

Steam Hardware Available Now!

It’s a day we’ve all been waiting for, the official launch date of the Steam hardware! For those that just wanted to wait for reviews before committing to purchase, it shouldn’t be long now. I’ve personally been eyeing up the Steam Controller as a viable alternative to the Xbox controllers with a more innovative interaction design.

Steam is the multi-platform gaming service that allows PC, Mac and Linux users to use the same service to download and play games and now they can do it wherever they are (assuming there is a strong internet connection). The hardware is split up into a Steam Controller, Steam Link and Steam Machines:

“Steam Controller — An innovative input device that allows you to play games from all genres, including traditional gamepad style games as well as games usually reserved for play with a mouse and keyboard. Steam Controllers are wireless, completely configurable, and available for a suggested retail price of $49.99/?54.99/£39.99/$59.99CAD.”

“Steam Link — The Steam Link allows Steam gamers to easily expand the range of their current gaming set up via their home network. Connecting any TV to your Steam host PC or Steam Machine, the Steam Link allows you to stream your games anywhere via your home network, and is available for a suggested retail price of $49.99/?54.99/£39.99/$59.99CAD.”

Sadly no video on the Steam Machines due to the diverse nature of each manufacturer.

“Steam Machines — Available from Alienware, Zotac, Cyberpower, and other manufacturers, Steam Machines can serve as a stand-alone device for enjoying the Steam gaming experience in one box, with more than 1,500 titles available for native play. In addition, Steam Machines have the ability to broadcast and receive In Home Streaming, allowing you to stream your games to a Steam Link, or receive a stream from another Steam Machine or PC. Steam Machines will vary in price, offering a range of hard drive sizes, graphics performance, and more. Starting at $449.99.”

The Steam Controller and Steam Link will be available direct from Steam and Amazon, while the Steam Machines are currently only available from the dedicated manufacturers website. More information on the products can be found on the official Steam Hardware website.

Phanteks Announce New Enthoo Evolv ATX Colour

Phanteks is one of the new kids on the block when you look at the likes of Cooler Master and Corsair. Founded back in 2007, it was a joint effort of a small team of thermal orientated engineers to produce some of the best cooling solutions on the market, and boy they are a sight to behold.

Only recently it has broken into the case market, but by not offering cheap and cheerful cases, Phanteks has already become famous for the Enthoo Evolv range of cases for being just some of the best on the planet.

Up until now, the Enthoo Evolv ATX has only been available in the more popular Black and Gun Metal Grey and while that has proven a good decision here we are with a brand new Galaxy Silver colour.

Despite the colour change, the Evolv ATX case still features the steel construction with 3mm thick aluminium outer panels, multi-option LED’s (Red, Green, Blue and White) for the front panel and an extremely modular internal hard drive installation which allows you to install up to five (5) 3.5″ free hanging hard drive cages in the front of the case; although that space would be much better suited for a large reservoir.

This case is simply stunning and one of the all-time best cases I’ve worked with in terms of functionality, quality and easy of installation of parts. Do you own this or any other variant of the Enthoo Evolv range? Why not show us your completed images down in the comments.

US Compensation for VW Drivers to Increase by 50%

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you should know about the latest emissions scandal regarding the Diesel Volkswagen (VW) engined cars; our previous coverage can be found here and here. This has been met with huge uproar and the VW Group started to offer affected owners a $2,000 trade-in credit against the cars/ vans that had the emission cheating software installed.

In the US, on top of that $2,000 trade-in credit, affected drivers are also going to be eligible for up to $1,000 in gift cards and dealership credit and additional complimentary 24hr Roadside Assistance for up to three (3) years. It’s not fully clear whether UK drivers will be receiving the same treatment, The Telegraph has reported owners seek professional legal advice.

This has negatively impacted the resale of the motors and owners are likely to see an increase in road TAX, fuel consumption and possibly even voided warranties if the update hasn’t been applied to the vehicle. However, VW representatives want to reassure its customers that the cars are safe to drive whether or not they have the new software applied or not. Want to know if your car has the cheating software installed? US readers can visit this website and UK/ EU readers can visit this website.