Divinity: Original Sin 2 Receives Dedicated Mod Support

Fans of the original game can rejoice, as Divinity: Original Sin 2 has just gotten the stretch goal it truly deserves, as does any PC worth its salt in my opinion. After reaching a goal of $1,650,000 on Kickstarter, the developers have promised to add in dedicated mod support, meaning worthy home coders and pros alike will be able to tinker with the game until their heart’s content. I often find this is what can truly make a great RPG, as the developers often do a great job, but it pales compared to the talent of the masses. Expect graphics, bug fixes and more to spill onto the games forums shortly after release.

“Reaching this goal means our powerful editor will get a dedicated team that aims to improve the usability of the editor such that it becomes easier to make your own RPG adventures. Upon release, the modding community will be able to get their hands deep into the editor as quickly and painlessly as possible– and before release, our team will be able to make the game faster and with fewer headaches. Everyone wins!” Said the games developer Larian.

There’s only a few days left in the Kickstarter, but if you want to show your support, you can do so here.

Enermax Liqmax II 240mm AIO CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Enermax are one of my all time favourite brands, as they’ve created some really unique chassis designs over the years, some stunning power supplies and most importantly to myself, their AIO water coolers still dominate the top of our charts, giving us some truly incredible cooling performance that would make you think twice about needing a custom loop. Their latest cooler, the LiqMax II 240mm All-in-One Liquid CPU Cooler is certainly something I’ve been looking forward to testing, especially so given the performance of their LiqTech coolers and I’m eager to see how this one compares.

As you can see, the ELC-LMR240-BS as it is technically known, comes well equipped with a ceramic bearing pump, an aluminium radiator and a pair of high quality 120mm fans, which can operate right up to 2000RPM.

The packaging is really nicely designed, keeping in theme with many other Enermax products and features a nice image of the cooler, as well as a quick rundown of the major features and socket compatibility; you’ll also notice that this cooler is rated to handle up to 350W+ TDP, which is way more than you’ll likely ever use.

In the box, you’ll find two very high-quality fans, something I suspect will give the LiqMax II an edge over the competition. They come with very funky shaped blades, as well as rubber anti-vibration mounts on each side of all four corners.

Each fan comes with a slim black cable and a 4-pin PWM connector.

There’s a universal mounting plate included, as well as an arrangement of high-quality and rather nice looking screws and fittings. What’s also nice to see is that we’ve got a tube of thermal grease, rather than a sachet, which is handy for multiple applications, as well as a Y-split fan cable to help connect the two 120mm fans to your motherboard, as you’ll still need another header for the pumps 3-pin connector.

The radiator is pretty straight forward, with a standard 240mm design and a slim form factor.

The cooler is equipped with 300mm hoses, which should make it compatible with most large cases. The pipes are quite thick, so they’re not as flexible as some other coolers and that could make it tricky, although not impossible, to mount it in small chassis.

The radiator is nicely finished with a plate on the edge, as well as a small Enermax logo, so it should blend in with most system builds easily enough.

The pump is very nicely styled with a cool design on the top and a small Enermax logo in the middle.

The hoses are mounted on a swivel joint to allow easier fitting into your system.

There’s an Intel mounting kit pre-fitted here, but with just a few small screws you can remove it and fit the included (in the box) AMD mounting kit. There’s a huge copper contact plate on the bottom which is nicely polished; this should provide a good fit over your CPU of choice.

Soul Calibur II HD Online Given November 20th Release Date

Namco Bandai Games today announced that Soul Calibur II HD Online will be available worldwide on November 20th 2013, as an Arcade game on Xbox Live and  on the PlayStation Network for PlayStation 3. The game will be available for download on both Xbox Live and PSN for the suggested price of €18.99 / XBL £13.49 / PSN £14.99.

Developed by Project Soul, this new release reimagines the beloved title by adding online multiplayer support to the title as well as vibrant updated graphics to take advantage of modern high definition TVs. Heralded as one of the best fighting games of all-time, Soul Calibur II returns to consoles this year in celebration for its 10 year anniversary. Fans will also be pleased as the two legendary heroes, Spawn and Heihachi, originally exclusive guest characters for each platform, will be for the first time ever playable on both platforms, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Watch as Mitsurugi takes on Maxi in the latest teaser of the games gameplay. Unfortunately it looks like it hasn’t compressed to YouTube too well but the full game should look a lot better.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/T12SunNoM0U[/youtube]

Soul Calibur II HD Online will be available for download on November 20th 2013 on Xbox Live and via the PlayStation Network.

Thank you Namco Bandai for providing us with this information.

Sandisk Extreme II 240GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


The SSD market as many people know it is inundated with drives that have one of LSI’s SandForce SF-2281 controllers at their heart and whilst this is not a bad thing – given that they have proven reliability and some of the best performance to be had, they are not without their faults.

SSD owners today, use their drives for a multitude of tasks and breaking these tasks down to the way the drives see the data, we have two data types; compressible and incompressible. SandForce based drives typically use lossless data compression to minimise the write cycles to the flash in order to prolong its life span, however not all data sets can be compressed in this way and consequently when these controllers meet this type of data, the write speeds consequently slow down as the data takes more time to process.

SanDisk’s Extreme series of drives as we have here today, are now on to their second generation and following the success of the original Extreme that was based around the SF-2281 controller, SanDisk want to take the performance up a notch to give this drive a huge selling point against every other drive out there. To do this, the SandForce controller had to be laid to rest as the way it handles incompressible data was not going to be right for an ‘extreme’ drive. As a result, Marvell has been brought in with its top end controller and this teamed with SanDisk’s own 19nm Toggle NAND MLC flash and a 256MB cache is what is set to give this drive the grunt it needs to push it to the top of the SSD performance charts.

Gainward GeForce GTX 770 Phantom OC 2GB Graphics Card Review

While the GTX 780 and 770 were both released recently, there has been more focus from brands on the 770 counterpart as it offers much better value for money when looking at a price vs performance argument than pretty much any other card on the market from both AMD or Nvidia, and with that we’ve had a lot more GTX 770’s come through our door, than we have 780.

As we start plowing through these cards, we also found a chance to start working with a brand that is fairly new to us, and perhaps doesn’t have the biggest presence in the UK market, unlike other key manufacturer’s and this is Gainward. Today we find their GTX 770 Phantom OC landing with us which is said to offer all of the benefits of a GTX 770 with an increased clock speed thanks to the overclock and their patented Phantom cooling solutions which provides extreme silence and extreme cooling with a unique design behind it too.

With a slightly higher price point than a reference GTX 770, we’re here to find out if the extra £30 is worth spending, and if the overclock really does help push performance while remaining cool and quiet at the same time. We will be comparing this directly to a reference GTX 770 among other key cards that are currently on the market.

Before we get straight into the performance though, there are a few things we need to look at which includes the packaging and what Gainward bundle in with the card, before we take a detailed look at the card itself and its Phantom cooling solution. Once we’ve covered the design aspect, then we can get down to the nitty gritty and look at the specs in comparison to a stock card, and then find out if the performance increase really makes a difference while focusing on the performance of the cooler as well.

Of course, in natural eTeknix fashion, we will see if the overclock can be pushed even further by manually increasing the clock speed and memory speeds on the card, but lets start by taking a look at what the GTX 770 Phantom comes in and exactly what’s included.

The box itself is nice and includes a panel that flaps open to reveal a first view of the card. There are a few spelling errors on the packaging and some words are split between two lines, but this is no real problem to be honest. Inside we find a quick install guide, driver installation CD, twin 6-pin PCI-Express to single 8-pin PCI-Express power adapter, DVI to VGA adapter and a welcome addition; a HDMI to DVI adapter.

Asus Radeon HD 7790 DirectCU II OC 1GB Graphics Card Review

Having looked at a number of choices for the 7790 from MSI, Sapphire and Club3D, its time to see what is on offer from Asus and when we mention Asus, what comes to mind is DirectCU. We’ve seen some manufacturers use their own design of coolers across their own product ranges, but no-one it seems has been more successful at this over Asus. Bar only minor design tweaks to cater for different cards, the DirectCU II coolers inherently all look pretty much a part of the same family, each shrouded by the iconic black metal frame and three red stripes that run along the breadth of the cooler.

So what sets DirectCU apart from the competition ? Well we’ve found time and time again that they are some of the most efficient when it comes to cooling, especially on the acoustics front, with the top four spots on the charts taken up by a cooler of this design. This naturally gives this cooler a chance to join that group. On the basis of Bonaire, we’ve seen some impressive results to date and knowing that Asus don’t like to displease their huge following of users, I’m sure there is going to be something special hidden somewhere inside this card.

In a standard Asus fashion, we find the box decorated with an artistic breakdown of the cooler and the moniker three claw slashes that run to the top right hand corner. Inside we also find a standard accessory set that includes a legacy display adaptor, CrossFire bridge, driver CD with GPU Tweak and a setup guide.