Gearbox is known for their successful series, Borderlands. Combining first-person shooters and role-playing game progression, Borderlands was also known for the comical humour and storyline that saw players, laugh cry and rage at the digital world they became engrossed in. Gearbox looks to continue this success with a new game, Battleborn.
Battleborn isn’t just another shooter combined with role-playing elements, this time, they’ve decided to add in some progression elements similar to multiplayer online battle arena games, and with player versus player action, the game doesn’t stop there.
This weekend, or rather from now till April 18th 7am PT (1400 GMT), you can not only enjoy the initial 7 heroes but as you progress and rank up you can enjoy more and more, with competitive versus and story mode letting you earn XP towards temporary helix augmentations and character and command ranks, every game increases your characters strengths.
It should be noted that experience and items obtained within the open beta won’t carry on to the retail version when it releases May 3rd. You can download the games open beta on Steam, found here.
With sword-wielding vampires, exploding wrestlers and a mecha wielding penguin, what isn’t to love? With the game available for £39.99 or £51.99 for the Digital Deluxe Pre-order version the open beta may attract more to the game.
Google’s Cloud Machine Learning platform, which is utilized by a number of applications including Google Photos, Translate and Inbox has been made available for use by developers today. The announcement was made by Alphabet’s Chairman, Eric Schmidt at NEXT 2016, where he explained that machine learning was “what’s next”.
This move will give developers the chance to leverage the power that Google currently makes use of every day in their own apps. These powerful machine learning tools will be available to use through a number of easy-to-use REST APIs according to Fausto Ibarra, Google’s director of product management. He went on to state that “Cloud Machine Learning will take machine learning mainstream, giving data scientists and developers a way to build a new class of intelligent applications.”
The Cloud Machine Learning platform APIs initially on offer by Google include translation, photo, and speech recognition tools which power Google Now, Google Photos, voice recognition in Google Search and many other systems.
This release by Google makes them the third major company to roll out a machine learning platform for developers, with Microsoft’s Azure platform releasing in 2015 and Amazon Web Services including machine learning since 2015. With Google declaring that machine learning is set to be the next big thing in computing, it may not be too long before we see our everyday apps getting even smarter, as developers benefit from Google’s platform and Google in turn benefit from its usage allowing furthering development. It may only be in developer preview for now, but I am sure that many app developers, both old and new, will be jumping at the chance to put these cutting edge tools to use.
Edge has been updated with several usability upgrades and fixes, but one of the biggest changes was the download prompt has been “improved”, meaning you now have a better chance of cancelling those unwanted downloads.
The latest build does come with a small known issue, the voicemail notification and delivery system doesn’t actually work. While you can still check your voicemail, you will have to do so manually.
With fixes addressing everything from phone rebooting errors to not being able to hide the navigation bar in certain 8.1 phone apps, the latest build seems to be a step forward in order to at least make people interested in the mobile OS as a choice when buying a new phone.
The Walking Dead is a highly popular series whether we talk comic books, TV show, or games for various platforms and if I had been a little younger it would have been on of the franchises I’d be hooked on. I’ve moved on from this genre, but millions of fans haven’t and I bet they’re excited about this new video preview which only just was released. The Walking Dead: Michonne is a mini-series that will feature three episodes instead of the usual five which is why it is being classified as a miniseries instead of just a normal season label. The first episode is called In Too Deep and it scheduled for February the 23rd, although two days later when it comes to Android and iOS devices. The next two episodes in this miniseries, episodes 2 and 3, will then launch in March and April respectively.
The newly released video contains six minutes and eight seconds of goodness for fans of the Walking Dead stories and best of all, it doesn’t really contain any spoilers. It is shown in a slow pace that will allow you to follow even if you haven’t had your morning coffee yet and aren’t fully awake. It doesn’t show any of the difficult choices either that the Telltale games are renowned for, but it does offer a glimpse into Michonne’s state of mind.
The new game should fill some of the gaps for comic fans. It is set between the issues number 126 and number 139 where Michonne was absent. Michonne has been a very mysterious figure in the story and readers have long speculated on her past. It is quite possible that the new game will shed some further light on the character, at least if we go by this newly released video.
With the Walking Dead seasons 1 and 2 having sold over 50 million copies worldwide, there will be a lot of people itching to continue the story. And they can do just that in a little over a week, for now, here’s the video.
Mozilla Firefox have deployed new ways of attracting a bigger share of the browser-based market, now, users of iPhones and iPads who would like an alternative to their current mobile browsers might have found one, as Mozilla is going to begin rolling out the first public preview version of the popular and well-recognised browser for iOS. Sounds good, slight problem with that, you may need your passport.
Mozilla is aiming to garner public opinion and feedback in order to develop the software for the Apple platform, ready to immediately test drive the software? Good, I take it you do reside in New Zealand. Yep, Firefox in their blog post have stated that “we will be collecting feedback in one country, before we extend availability to get feedback in a few more countries prior to a full public launch” Did Mozilla throw a dart to determine which country would receive the preview first?
So, what features will the good folks in New Zealand have available to them? The preview release features include,
Intelligent Search – Which provides suggested search results and the choice of search providers
Firefox accounts – take your Firefox browser history, passwords and tabs from your desktop to your iOS devices.
Tabs – Visual Tabs, an intuitive way to keep track of your open tabs
If you’re a Kiwi and would like Firefox on iOS, then by all means test the first preview, if you’re not a Kiwi but would like to try the software, you will have to wait until Mozilla throws another dart to decide the next country to be rewarded with the version.
Thank you mozilla blog for providing us with this information.
We’ve heard that Microsoft plans on killing the old Lync app for business chat and meetings and integrate everything in Skype, namely Skype for Business. In a blog post, Microsoft today announced that it just released Skype for Business preview apps on iOS and Android, just months after it announced the Skype for Business project.
They state that the new apps come with a new and improved dashboard for easy navigation of contacts, calls, and meetings, while also updating the In-Call and In-Meeting experience. The dashboard now seems to show upcoming meetings and recent conversations in one place, while its new handy tools are built to make your life easier. For example, the contact search bar now find contacts by first and last name, email address, and even phone numbers. In addition to the latter, all contacts in your phone are now automatically included in the search.
The In-Call and In-Meeting experience is now more fluid and easier to navigate on smartphones and tables by making the buttons larger. Also, videos now fill the entire screen, but the best part is that you can now browse content while in a call or meeting, view it in full size and view the speaker’s video at the same time.
Skype for Business apps are said to work with anyone on Lync Server 2013, Skype for Business Server 2015 and Skype for Business Online. IT Administrators who wish to take part in the preview can get more details by visiting the Skype for Business Preview app web page here.
Windows Insider beta project leader Gabriel Aul had recently warned to not reinstall Windows 10 Preview because the secret keys given out to insiders would fail. That created a little confusion among people as it kind of contradicted any previous statement in regards to the Windows Insider program and the users ability to keep using the Windows 10 Preview after the final version was launched.
According to Aul, all pre-release products secret keys for Windows 10 beta preview of the project are no longer valid and you can not activate any preview including the almost-official version of Build 10240.
But users who previously used the secret key to activate the system won’t be affected and it will continue to work as before. You just can’t use the fresh install, but have to use the update feature instead and Aul also encouraged users to keep receiving push updates.
Rohit Chettri now clarified the whole thing a little more in a blog post, eliminating any questions there should be in this matter.
Windows 10 is almost here and I for one can’t wait to get my hands on it. I like what I’ve seen and I think it’s a great improvement, even when we don’t get to take advantage of it all right away. For example we know that it will have DirectX 12, but developers will have to come up with apps and games to take advantage of this first. Right now there are just demos and benchmarks, no real products.
As the release date for Microsoft’s latest Windows build draws near, we see the company taking the first steps in prepping for their most anticipated date, July 29th. If you are a Windows Insider, you might already be familiar with the company’s recent move.
As of Monday, Microsoft suspended all new preview builds for Windows 10, stating that the next build will be rolled out on the production channels. However, Microsoft still needs a lot of testing before the launch date, so they are most likely focusing on wrapping up the clean install and upgrade process so that Windows Insiders can test and flag any major problems that could arise during the installation or upgrade process. There were a lot of problems with the Windows 8.1 update, especially with the Update 1, where users were even forced to clean install the OS after encountering serious problems during the upgrade process.
To be noted is that even pre-release activation keys will not work on earlier versions of Windows 10 preview builds. There is no word if Microsoft will release a fresh batch of keys for users who still didn’t get a chance to test Windows 10, but they will most likely be forced to upgrade from earlier Windows versions, since Microsoft is expecting a lot of people to migrate to the latest build after it launches.
The move to suspend preview builds also hints at the release of the first RTM build, which was expected last week. This means that the build will be shipped soon enough to OEMs such as Dell, Acer, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo to install and start shipping Windows 10-powered PCs on July 29th.
Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information
If you were about to throw away your Xbox 360 game collection because you upgraded from an Xbox 360 to the latest Xbox One, don’t do that just yet. Microsoft’s Phil Spencer just announced at E3 that they will be making its latest Xbox One console backwards compatible with Xbox 360 titles.
Phil said that Microsoft’s aim is to bring as many games as possible to their latest console, giving users access to one of the biggest “library” of titles available on the market. The compatibility has been announced to work with both online and retail copies, having Microsoft roll out 100 titles this holiday season. However, Microsoft plans on adding 100 more later on, so keep your favourite Xbox One discs dust-free and ready for action.
There have been a lot of HD remakes cropping up since the Xbox One hit the market, but Microsoft looks like it wants developers to focus on new titles instead of just reviving old ones. This news may not sit well with developers who’ve already planned an Xbox One remake of their title, but Microsoft seems to be marking users as top priority as of late. The feature is said to already be available for Xbox Preview program members, so if you’re one of the lucky ones, give it a try and see how it goes.
Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information
Computex 2015: What is this we have here? Well, I know, but I’m not allowed to tell you exactly what it is. For starters, it’s obviously a Thermaltake chassis, but there’s a few key features that stand out. Thermaltake were kind enough to allow us to share just two images. The first shows that there’s a staggering amount of space behind the motherboard, more than enough to route cables and even water cooling pipes!
The next image, which I’m sorry is a little over exposed, shows a huge bank of 2.5″ drive mounts, which would imply high-end water cooling, while leaving plenty of storage options.
I wish I could share more, but I can tell you this is a great looking product and certainly one to watch out for. What do you think, looks good so far?
After releasing 17 updates since its original launch, the Microsoft application has now had the preview title removed from the Play store. The team at Microsoft have had high expectations for Outlook, and whilst enhancing the apps performance and removing bugs they named the app as a Preview.
The application brings some new and welcomed features that make it a lot different from the standard mail client on your Android. The app features IMAP support, a revised people section, directory searching, swipe gestures and much more; the majority of the new features and changes have been requested by the end users.
“We’ve continued to polish the look and feel of the app. We updated our icon sets and simplified our fonts to provide a more consistent Outlook experience across operating systems and devices. But it was also important for Outlook to feel like a natural part of Android. We use common Android design principles like the Navigation Drawer to house the multiple tools offered in the app and have common actions like settings available in the App Overflow menu,” Microsoft explains.
The Application is available to Android users running version 4.0 and higher. The latest version of the app is 1.1.9 and is available to download here
Thank you Winbeta for providing us with this information
Microsoft has stated in a blog post that its Windows 10 for phones Technical Preview released last month was available for “very limited” devices. The decision was made due to the partition size, having the company select just a few devices that matched its requirements.
The upcoming Technical Preview for Windows 10 for phones is said to be available for more devices this time, having Microsoft coming up with a process by the name of “partition stitching”. The latter process is said to essentially resize the partition dynamically, a process that would allow previously unsupported handsets run the upcoming Technical Preview distribution.
The company states that it requires one more week of engineering before releasing the new build, but the device list looks to be promising this time. Microsoft appears to be releasing the new Technical Preview for the following devices:
Lumia 530 Dual Sim
Lumia 630 Dual Sim
Lumia 730 Dual SIM
Microsoft Lumia 430
Microsoft Lumia 435
Microsoft Lumia 435 Dual SIM
Microsoft Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 532 Dual SIM
Microsoft Lumia 640 Dual SIM
Microsoft Lumia 535 Dual SIM
Microsoft has also stated that the above list is not guaranteed, having the company remove devices that would encounter any sort of bug during the final tests.
Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information
Microsoft is finally releasing a new redesigned version of its Office suite for Mac this year. The new suite is the first refresh of Microsoft Office for Mac since 2011, a 5 year gap during which Microsoft did not release any new version for Apple’s operating system.
The new Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook apps aim to bring the Office suit in par with the Windows version in terms of design and functionality. Being a preview version means that the apps are not perfect. However, Microsoft states that it will only use the user feedback to make a few minor tweaks and improvements, which leads to believe that the final product will be more or less how it looks and feels now.
The top 10 features of Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac, as highlighted by Mashable, includes a Full Screen View Support, clearly emphasising that Office 2016 for Mac is truly built for Yosemite and can switch from windowed to full screen, compared to its predecessor which could not.
Microsoft has also made some design changes and redesigned the Ribbons, making a consistency between both Windows and Mac version. These are now the same on both operating systems.
The suite now lets you share your documents with easy through the Sharing button in the upper right corner. Documents shared via link can even be opened directly from the email.
Sharing a document with a collaborator now allows you to have Threaded Conversations within comments in Word and Powerpoint. Though it is not as good as in Google Drive, it does show that Microsoft is moving forward into the right direction.
Microsoft has also included a new Formula Builder in its latest version, making it easier to use Excel’s formula functions in your work.
Powerpoint has also received an improvement in terms of transitioning, having Microsoft adding a variety of Transitions and a separate panel for managing animations within the presentation.
One key feature most people using a Mac and frequently require Powerpoint will find extremely useful is the Presenter View, which lets users see the entire slide deck, note, and a timer, while an external display beams the current slide to the audience.
Microsoft has also added a nifty feature, namely Removable Palettes, for those who desire to customize the Office apps view to better suit their needs
The OneNote app has not been forgotten as well, having it come with a Tags function which makes it easy to quickly categorize notes by topic.
Lastly, Outlook has suffered some minor improvements as well, having added the Conversations feature which allows users to sort their inbox by conversations, in addition to date, attachments, priority level and other categories.
Microsoft’s Office 2016 Preview for Mac can be downloaded from here.
Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information
Everyone is raving over the Apple Watch, with immense anticipation building before its release. However, there are very few people that have even seen one, let alone used one of the elusive devices. So what if you wanted to give it a try before pre-ordering?
A new page on the WatchAwaresite showcases a selection of apps that are currently being developed for the watch. It allows you to click on their icons and gives you the opportunity to imagine what it would be like to use them. But perhaps more interestingly, it gives us a chance to see how some of the features work. Particularly of interest are ‘Glances’, which give you information quickly, and ‘Actionable Notifications’ which work more like notifications on your phone.
The sheer creativity of Apple Watch developers is already evident, just take a look at the one we’ve included with this article. Soon you’ll be able to discreetly make fart noises with your wrist! How innovative is that!
If you’re a fan of games like Thief and System Shock 2, perhaps even a little Deus Ex, then you’re going to be very interested in the debut title from Pulsetesnse Games; Solarix. It’s amazing to see the game reach this stage after the game unfortunately didn’t reach its Kickstarter goal. The team pushed on with zero budget, still managed to secure AAA voice actors and are showing no signs of slowing down their development progress.
The game dives head first into the Sci-Fi FPS genre, which in all fairness has been done to death time and time again by many other games, but modern games tend to focus heavily on the run and gun scenario. Solarix slows the pace considerably, going back to the steady searching, finding your way around your environment and generally putting you as a fragile victim than the Hollywood hero. The game favours stealth over action and while I’m sure many of you love the gun-toting action, Solarix uses a light meter mechanic to help you lurk in the shadows and evade your foes.
The game has a dark and eerie vibe about it. The levels are littered with dimly lit corridors, steam vents, lights behind slow moving fans. Pretty much all the clichés you would expect, but they’re all very well executed and really set the tone for the game very well. Think the movie Event Horizon with the grime of Gears of War and you’re half way there.
The game is in beta stage, so I did notice quite a few bugs along my way. Clunky scenery that occasionally stopped me in my tracks, enemies AI sending them into a minor fit when walking around objects and so on, but the game isn’t finished, so they’re allowed to have a few collision detection problems at this stage. However, it’s easy to look past the issues and soak up the games environment, at least until the pretty lethal enemies spot you lurking under a spotlight and come down on you with unrelenting force. Keep in mind, you’re a humble electrical engineer, you’re fighting for your life, your fellow crew are dead from infection and guess what? It’s down to you to contain what’s left – a mixture of freaked out people with guns and your own survival requirements; your best weapon right now is disabling lights to create dark hiding spots.
It’s easy to get lost in Solarix, most notably because it doesn’t hold your hand and feed turn-by-turn directions to you every two seconds; figure things out yourself! This much I love, I’m tired of waypoint markers mucking up my adventures and while you may find yourself backtracking a lot, the open-ended level design is a welcome throwback to the FPS games of the 90’s.
There’s not really a lot else to say about the game right now. I could pick holes in it, as there are a few rough textures, some of the shaders are not fantastic right now and there are a few control glitches that creep up frequently, but that would be like complain a car didn’t drive correctly after it was half built; this is an early beta after all!
This game has a lot of potential and for fans of stealthy sci-fi thriller games, there’s little else on the horizon to whet your appetite. I can’t wait to see what this game looks like in the near future when a little more polish has been put into it, the bugs fixed and of course, when it sees a full release. The game supports 2K resolutions at the moment and I even got 4K working via the console commands, which looks absolutely stunning!
The story is cool, the setting is classic and the atmosphere is thick – this is shaping up to be a great game indeed. A little birdie tells me there are some very exciting things in store for Solarix, which I’ll gladly share with you once I know I’m allowed to, so stay tuned!
A new build of Windows 10 has leaked onto the internet today, showing a number of new tweaks and additions, most notably with Cortana and a new Xbox app.
The Verge reports that this build shows off more of Cortana’s interface, as a previous leak only gave us an idea of how it would work, rather than how it would look. The virtual assistant is closely integrated with the OS, offering quick access via the search feature of Windows 10. It apparently works in pretty much the same way it did in that earlier video, however it all looks somewhat more complete.
Another addition in this build is a new Xbox app, which appears to give more comprehensive access to Xbox Live with achievements, the store, friends and more. Think of it like having an Xbox on your desktop, without the ability to play Xbox games.
Besides all that there are some UI tweaks and additions, as well as a new settings app – supposedly signalling the end of the humble Control Panel.
All the preview builds so far have been labelled ‘Technical Preview’ so it’s expected that this build is to resemble the features Microsoft is set to unveil at their recently announced event on January 21, with an increased focus on consumer features instead. After that there will probably be a ‘Consumer Preview’ that will most likely resemble the finished product.
Be sure to visit the source link to see some more screenshots.
The latest preview build of Windows 10 has been released.
Build 9879 features a few tweaks to the user interface, including a number of trackpad gestures like those seen on Macs. The first public build of Windows 10 was released last month, with at least 1 million people choosing to take part in the preview. Microsoft plans to have their latest version of the preeminent operating system in the hands of consumers next year.
We now for certain now that Microsoft are working hard on the next iteration of their operating system. Windows 8 was great overall, but a PR disaster for the company and with Windows 7 being a pretty solid operating system, people had no good reason to update. Naturally they’re now pegging their hopes on Windows 9 and to be honest, so am I, it’s time for a chance and hopefully this time around it will be for the better.
Now we are hearing reports that an early build of the OS will be heading for public preview in September or early October at the latest. The OS still has a lot of development to go trough, so this will likely be testing changes to core elements, with many more features being added through extensive updates over the coming months.
The OS is said to feature a new mini Start Menue, “metro-style” apps that float in separate windows on the desktop, virtual desktops, the charms bar is gone and the OS should even contain an early version of their Cortana service.
Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information.
Ok we know this trailer looks like someone filmed it using a potato, the quality is pretty dire to say the least, but last night saw the new Batman v Superman trailer played to a crowd at Comic-Con and until now, no one outside of that screening has seen the trailer.
The trailer is pretty short, but we do see the general costume design of both Batman and Superman, pending what looks set to be an epic fight.
Just keep in mind that there are a few adults in the crowd who are a little too excited when the trailer comes on screen, so expect NSFW language.
Microsoft plans on providing new and more efficient ways for security professionals to effectively and swiftly respond to potential threats. This is why the company has just launched the closed preview of a platform named Interflow, designed with cybersecurity in mind.
The platform is said to have been announced in a Microsoft blog post, having stated that it is a product of collaboration with the Microsoft Active Protections Platform. Interflow is designed to “take industry specifications to create an automated feed of machine-readable threat information that can be shared across industries and groups”. Also, Microsoft has stated that users decide which information or feeds are shared with the communities and even which community is required to be established.
Up until now, Microsoft has been testing the platform internally having its own security teams assessing the threats. However, Microsoft states that the platform is available to other companies as well who desire to test and even participate in improving it. The company has also stated that it plans on making Interflow available to all MAPP groups in the future.
In terms of specifications, Microsoft said that Interflow supports a number of open specifications, such as STIX (Structured Threat Information eXpression), TAXII (Trusted Automated eXchange of Indicator Information), as well as CybOX (Cyber Observable eXpression). Given the latter, the platform should integrate with existing systems and avoid potential data locking.
Given that threats and cyber attacks are increasing in number, security is becoming every company’s main priority and being able to respond to cyber attacks at the same time they occur is the best solution in order to have a greater chance of successfully protecting the company network and systems.
Ubisoft’s most ‘prized possession’, the Assassin’s Creed series, has had quite a few leaks these past couple of months. Since E3 is just around the corner now, more information is bound to be leaked or even released by the developer. The latest information comes under the shape of a short preview trailer of the game, with no further official information being released just yet.
Though nothing official, a few leaked images have been recently roaming the internet, revealing a possible new assassin character and other in-game characters. What is known so far about the title is that it took more than three years and a total of nine studios working in collaboration with the Montreal-based team to finish the game. A pre-alpha footage has also been released, confirming the title will be available for the next-gen consoles and PC platform in Q4 2014.
The recently leaked images allegedly reveal the main in-game characters and protagonist assassin, having them been spotted on Tumblr by a NeoGAF member . In addition to the latter, a new artwork picture along with an official screenshot of the E3 invitation letter have been spotted on the game’s website, confirming that new Assassin Creed title will be present at E3 2014 on the 9th of June.
Thank you WCCFTech for providing us with this information Image courtesy of WCCFTech
Six months ago we took a look at the budget friendly In-Win G7 Mid Tower Chassis, it was a nicely balanced gaming chassis that offered enough room for a mid to high end gaming rig, without all the usual visual noise that often plages the low-mid budget gaming chassis market. Many manufacturers are quick to put huge windows, a rack of LED lighting, bright colours and more into their mid budget models and while that is ok, not everyone wants a disco ball in their gaming chassis.
Sure we’ve already reviewed this case, but In-Win were kind enough to humour my interest in the case again. I didn’t much go for the grey colour scheme of the one we reviewed, it isn’t a common colour in the market and it isn’t even a colour that is available here in the UK. In-Win wanted to show us that the black model looks even better, so we were hardly going to turn down the opportunity to take another look.
AS you can see from the specifications below, the G7 packs a nice range of support that is more than capable of packing in a few graphics cards and a decent amount of air cooling, so lets get right too it and take a look at how good (or bad) this black edition looks.
The chassis comes nicely packaged in a relatively standard box. There are a few technical details on the front that detail the 365mm GPU support, EZ-Swap dock and USB 3.0 ports.
Out of the box we can see that the case is identical in design to the grey one, with the blatantly obvious exception being that this on is black. Already I think it looks better, as the metal work better matches up to the tone of the plastics used on the top and front panels. There’s plenty of ventilation on the side panel, perfect for mounting a pair of 120mm fans for even more airflow.
The right side panel may not have the embossed In-Win logo that we see on the left, but there is a large raised section that provides the chassis with extended cable routing space.
The fake brushed aluminium effect on the chassis looks a lot sleeker in black, the lines catch the light a little better and you can see more detail overall compared to the grey edition. The chassis has a really clean looking front panel, with the I/O ports at the top and a sneaky Turbo fan controller button in the top right.
Around the back we see the black paint job continues to the removable components, the expansion slot back plates are all treated with the same lightly textures paint job.
The interior is easily the biggest improvment, the black panels really clean up the look and while the cables do offer a bit of a cheap and bright contrast, they can easily be tucked away through the cable routing areas.
For just £54.99 from Box.co.uk you’re going to be pretty hard pushed to find a more sensible gaming chassis that still packs all the features and support needed for packing in loads of storage, as well as a couple of graphics cards.
If you’re looking for something a little more grown up, without endless windows and lighting effects then the G7 ticks all boxes. The added benefits being that In-Win bundle three pre-installed fans with one in the front, one in the back and another in the top, all hooked up to an integrated two speed fan controller. USB 3.0, dust filtering in the front and bottom of the chassis, cable management, slide out semi-modular hard drive bays and a tidy black paint job all add to the overall value.
Google might have accidentally leaked an image of their upcoming Nexus tablet, circulating under the name “Nexus 8”. Originally spotted on The Verge forums, a strange tablet was pictured in Google’s own promotional material for the revamped Android page promoting Android 4.4 KitKat. The picture is found at the bottom of the Apps & Entertainment page, and reveals a woman holding a tablet with very thin bezels.
The bezels are much thinner than the ones found on the Nexus 7 – 2013 Edition, and the device also appears to be running Android 4.4 KitKat due to the white status bar icons shown in the image. The tablet looks to keep to a similar overall size when compared to the Nexus 7 – 2013 Edition, leading us to believe that Google could be readying a Nexus 8 tablet.
Do not get your hopes up too soon as it could just be a marketing mistake, and the device in cause could even be a Nexus 7 with a poorly simulated screenshot on top. If Google is preparing such a device, we will hear more news on the topic at hand or maybe even see it released sooner than anybody could expect.
Next up on our line-up of previews for the latest Intel based motherboards we find ourselves with another Gigabyte board in our presence. You may have already seen some of the other Gigabyte previews that we’ve done in the past week including the Gigabyte G1.Sniper M5 which is the Micro-ATX version of what we have today; its big brother, the G1.Sniper 5.
The G1.Sniper 5 is part of the G1-Killer series of boards and is one of the top-end boards from Gigabyte with a full ATX form factor and a bundle load of features packed into it, so today gives us the chance to show our readers exactly what this top-spec board is all about. The only issue that we have is that we are of course bound by Intel’s NDA which is coming up very soon, and therefore we can’t mention anything to do with Intel or their new chipset or 4th generation CPU processors so please bare with us for the upcoming review of this board where we will be unleashing the benchmarks and performance results as well as showing how far this bad boy can go in terms of overclockability.
The G1.Sniper 5, just like its little brother incorporates the famous G1-Killer green and black colour scheme that it’s been made famous for. A black PCB is at the heart of this board with green accented components including the DIMM slots, PCI-Express lanes and of course the thermal heatsinks which also add some unique features that we’ve not seen on this range of boards before.
One thing you will notice is that the heatsink around the CPU socket has barbs for connecting watercooling loops to as well as an active fan solution to help keep the Phases nice and cool, especially when overclocking and pushing your hardware and mainly processor to the limits.
Covering the new Intel chipset (which for the moment will remain nameless) we find a low-profile G1-Killer heatsink with G1 series branding. The heatsink is powered allowing it to light up around the skull and its low-profile design causes no obstruction to longer PCI-Express expansion cards.
In typical fashion for our previews, we have a detailed video checking out the aesthetic design of the board as well as looking at the Gigabyte features, while not giving anything away in terms of Intel technology and features and of course we aren’t allowed to mention anything in terms of benchmarks and performance results, at least not for now.
If you’ve read my preview on the G1.Sniper M5, you’ll see that I’m a big fan of the colour scheme and design on the G1-Killer range of boards and have been since their introduction a couple of years ago and they have developed them in conjunction with what their consumer audience have told them and improved the overall design and features and this shows with the G1.Sniper 5 with its subtle branding and funky green colour scheme and with a feature set that is jam packed, you certainly won’t be disappointed.
Feature wise, we see some great potential for SLI and CrossFireX functionality which will see gamers smiling, as this board is aimed at them primarily with improved audio and LAN giving true gamers all of the special addons they need to be at the top of their game.
The bottom line is that anyone would be satisfied with this board, especially if they dabble in games or if they are a pro gaming player, and with the ability to watercool the CPU socket heatsinks with the addition of an active cooling solution with thanks to the fan, even overclockers will receive great results from this board too. For those wanting to watercool, the included barbs are going to add extra functionality and if you are clever and approach a company willing to match the green, you will have one amazing looking system at the end of the day.
Whenever a new chipset launches, so does a new reference board from Intel, and today sees the DZ87KLT-75K being the board in question. Now while we can’t divulge huge amounts of information in terms of features to do with the chipset and speaking about performance completely out of question, we can obviously comment on the design of the board and its aesthetics.
Firstly, it is worth noting that you are unlikely to see mass amounts of these boards appear within the retail sector, as they are generally used as reference and media viewing, though you may occasionally see them used in system integrator machines or for OEM purposes, but as it gives a further insight into the upcoming technology, we want to show as much as we can without giving too much away.
You’ll notice some similarities with their previous reference boards including those from Z77 and X79 with the black PCB and blue colour scheme that surrounds it, but with Intel being Intel, it would be wrong not to use their own blue colouring, right? It uses an ATX form factor and is jam packed full of features, so we will try to highlight a few that we can see from a visual perspective, as we don’t really want to get in trouble for breaking any NDA’s.
Around the CPU socket we find two Intel branded blue heatsinks, with one quite small and the other quite the opposite with it being on the large scale and including a skull as we’ve see before from Intel. There is still plenty of space around the CPU socket and a single 8-pin ATX power connector gives us an idea on the power delivery for the CPU giving us a small indication as to what we can work with in terms of overclocking.
The other cooling on the board is a small Intel branded heatsink covering over the chipset Not much else to see here barring some jumpers, SATA ports and a Mini PCI-Express/mSATA expansion slot.
As with all of our previews, we’ve kept the writing short, and focussed more on the videos, and therefore we invite you to check out the video below for a more in-depth look at the design of the board, but don’t expect any benchmarks or performance results, as remember this is just a preview.
Design wise, for a reference board, Intel have really done a great job. The black PCB and the cosmic blue colour scheme really adds a professional feel to it, and the inclusion of the skull shows that it means business, and we can only hope that is reflected in the review in terms of performance and of course; overclocking.
Feature wise, we can see plenty of SATA ports, a nice variety of expansion lanes with x16 and x1 PCI-Express and a legacy PCI lane for those with older generation expansion cards. Also on top of this is the Mini PCI-Express/mSATA slot just beneath the Intel branded chipset cooler for those wanting to add even more functionality to their system. Debug LEDs and quick buttons for power and reset will see overclockers and enthusiasts loving this board too and with plenty of fan headers jotted around the board for extra cooling, which enthusiasts should also welcome with open arms.
Rounding things off, this isn’t a lot more we can say without getting in trouble with our friends at Intel, so we have to cut things a bit short and leave it there, as all of the features that we can mention are in a what you see is what you get style, and hopefully the video has more than shown you that in terms of specifications and of course design.
With talks of this being the last Intel board being produced before they pull out of the DIY market, we can honestly say that they’ve finished things off nicely, but we sure do hope that there is more to come in the future from them, as this is certainly an improvement on the Z77, which was an improvement over its predecessor, so it’s clear to say that Intel are learning and fast, and we hope that the rumours stay as just that; rumours.
With Intel’s new chipset and 4th generation processors almost upon us, you’ll find the eTeknix team working doubly hard to bring you the latest and greatest content before and during the launch, but this comes with its hiccups to say the least. With a constant new set of BIOS updates being handed to us almost daily, we are vigorously testing away, and trying to tease our readers with some visuals at the same time which is where we see ourselves today.
We wanted to show our readers a bit of an insight into some of the boards that we’re getting a chance to work with, and to talk about their features and aesthetics, while not breaking Intel NDA and getting the whip for being naughty. This is why we have a huge set of previews being released over the next coming days, showing you exactly that, while focussing mainly on the design and style among some features that are non-Intel related.
Next up in the preview arena we find the Gigabyte G1.Sniper M5; a micro-ATX form factor motherboard which is set to pack a punch, like its predecessor did with the Z77 chipset. For those not wanting to skimp all out on the fully-fledged G1.Sniper 5, a micro-ATX board has been developed to give users the power and features of a true gaming board branded under the G1-Skiller series, without losing out on any of the beneficial traits that we expect within this range.
Following on from the G1.Sniper M3, we find the M5 keeping with the colour scheme and design of the Sniper range with a black PCB and green accented components ranging from the DIMM slots to the PCI-Express lanes, even to the heatsinks.Design wise, we see the same branding being used and from attending a MSI event in London, MSI plan to release more models within the MPOWER range, offering different price points depending on the users needs.
For a small form factor board, the M5 certainly isn’t lacking cooling potential with two heatsinks around the CPU socket area, providing sufficient cooling to those wishing to push the boundaries of the new 4th generation processors from Intel.
A small, low-profile heatsink covers over the new Intel chipset, while still allowing larger PCI-Express expansion cards room within your system. The G1-Killer branding is present here, showing you that this board means business.
For those wanting a full look around the board, checking out its design and feature list, we have produced a video preview just for you, where we take a close look at the board in a lot more detail, while trying not to give anything away in terms of benchmarks and performance.
I’ve always liked the G1-Killer range of boards, though never were a big fan of the bullets and other similar design ploys, but Gigabyte have clearly cleaned up their act and have gone down a more serious route with the G1.Sniper M5 and have opted for a simple yet effective design and have still managed to chuck on a load of features despite its micro-ATX form factor.
Now smaller components seem to be getting a lot of hype lately especially with small form factor chassis being released to the market like the BitFenix Prodigy among others, which opens up a huge pathway for mini-ITX and Micro-ATX boards, which finds the likes of Gigabyte producing more products for these markets, which is where we find the M5 suitably placed. The thing I honestly love from a personal point of view is that they still manage to include key features that we’re all used to such as improved audio, three PCI-Express x16 lanes, and overclocking technology that is generally found on higher-spec full ATX form factor products.
In summary, this is one of the boards that I’m most excited about, and that’s purely down to previous experience with the G1.Sniper M3 that seemed to keep wanting to push in terms of performance and overclockability and had no flaws whatsoever, while still maintaining a small footprint with thanks to its form factor. From a design point of view, the M5 is a personal favourite of mine and with a shiny green watercooling kit, we think modders are going to love the colour scheme and the form factor will allow for some really cool looking systems, so all we have to wait on now is to see if the performance matches this high quality of design that we’ve seen today.
It’s getting even closer to the launch of the newest Intel based motherboards revolving around a brand new chipset and supporting the newest 4th generation Intel processors. With that creeping in closer day by day, we are getting ourselves prepared for the launch, especially with us also preparing to get the latest content from the upcoming show; Computex.
To help keep our readers in the loop, as much as we can without breaking NDA, we have a whole host of previews coming up, which is where we find ourselves today, looking at the upcoming boards one by one, starting with the Z87 MPOWER from MSI.
Now you may remember the MPOWER branding from their Z77 offering that we looked at back in March, and sticking with the styling and branding used there, they have merged it over to the new chipset with this latest addition.
Design wise, we see the same branding being used and from attending a MSI event in London, MSI plan to release more models within the MPOWER range, offering different price points depending on the users needs.
One thing worth noticing is the new heatsink design incorporated around the CPU socket which features a black and yellow design to merge in with the rest of the boards design.
The colour scheme also continues to the rest of the cooling with a large, low-profile passive design that covers over the new Intel chipset.
For a further look at the board and its many features, we invite you to check out the video below, where we take an unboxing look and overview of the board.
From what we’ve shown to you and from what we know we’re safe to say without annoying Intel or MSI by breaking NDA, we can honestly say that we’re big fans of the colour scheme and welcomed it when we originally saw it on Z77, so am happy to see that MSI have developed on this with the Z87 MPOWER among the other boards which we will have in the future. The colour scheme matches in nicely with the Lightning series of graphics cards and Avexir memory that was closely developed in conjunction with MSI.
The new heatsink design around the CPU socket is going to be a marmite decision for anyone, as some may see it as large and cumbersome, but others will see this as a godsend as it should (at least in theory) provide adequate cooling when needed the most, especially when pushing your hardware to the limits through overclocking. Another key area of the design that I’m keen to see, and have spoken directly to MSI about is the bareness of the PCB, especially around the CPU socket. As you will see MSI have ditched a lot of logos and lines across the board making it look at a lot cleaner and simpler for the user, which is ultimately what they planned to do thanks to a lot of R&D from the big wigs at MSI.
Feature wise, we are certainly not shocked with the specifications (which we can’t fully reveal) but with a high-end board like this, we did expect plenty of expansion lanes, SATA ports, USB 3.0 technology and mini PCI-Express/mSATA and that’s exactly what this board delivers.
All in all, from an aesthetics side of view, we are certainly keen to see how this board performs and we can honestly say that we think that you (our readers) will be excited to see the benchmarks too, and MSI really have (at least from a first glance) got an award-winning motherboard here.