Gears Of War: Ultimate Edition Releases Without A Word

The Gears Of War franchise has been known as a game for Xbox users for years, with them enjoying releases of the second and third game while PC users were stuck enjoying the small amount of content they gained in the first game. Finally, the series returns with a bang on the PC, okay maybe not a bang but more like a silent whisper as the Ultimate Edition releases without a word from anybody.

If you are a fan of the series you’ll be able to enjoy the remaster of the original trilogy on PC as of today. Already released on the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 users you can enjoy the new game as long as your PC feels brave enough to face its requirements. Surprisingly, the last we heard about the games release was the specification for your systems and rumours about an early 2016 release date.

Perhaps a reason for the release’s rather silent release and low price mark at just £22.79 is the lack of recommendations from users who are reporting difficulty with the games and bad performance on every hardware configuration imaginable. Typically a split between your graphics card manufacturers, both AMD and Nvidia users are reporting issues with the game and a user running an R9 Fury suffering from a frame rate of fewer than 10 frames per second almost consistently.

Given the bad performance, it’s no surprise that it is a known problem to Microsoft that you can’t even download the game anymore and with recommendations to download it again “in a few days”. Given it’s their first DX12 game and made by Microsoft for what is now their franchise, the few days could be a stall to try patch up the problems people have encountered before another Arkham Knight scenario happens.

AMD Loses Two Major Industry Figures

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

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

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

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

Fractal Design R5 Chassis Tested in The World’s Quietest Room

Fractal Design’s unbridled commitment to constructing silent, high-quality cases with a focus on good airflow has earned a great deal of respect throughout the technology sector. The Define R5 applied a number of subtle tweaks from the previous model and progressively enhanced the chassis’ sound-deadening materials. Fractal Design constantly strives for perfection and conducted a wide array of interesting noise tests in the world’s quietest room.

From the graphs, we can see the Fractal Design R5 is virtually silent at idle and reported a 14 dB figure. The majority of people would struggle to distinguish audible noise between 1-10 dB, so 14 is remarkably quiet. Even under full load, the case only ramps up to 21.2 dB and well within an acceptable range. To put this into perspective, the case when benchmarking is even quieter than a library or normal conversation.

The R5 competes exceedingly well against an open test bench and provides a much better PC experience. Under idle, the R5 and R5 windowed edition only recorded a 1.3 and 1.4 dBA acoustical noise level while the test bench hit a maximum of 16.1 dBA. The figures under 50% load remain fairly constant with an increase of approximately 1 dBA. However, notice how the gap slightly increases between the solid and windowed side panel version. When 100% load was applied, the standard R5 reached 21.2 dBA and the side-panel case only increased this figure by 0.7 dBA. Honestly, I expected there to be a much larger gap between these models. Finally, the Test Bench wasn’t ridiculously loud but enough of an increase to exemplify the R5’s excellent build quality.

This was a rather intriguing experiment and illustrates how quiet a modern, custom-PC can be. Perhaps the research conducted will allow Fractal to improve their silent ratings even further in future products.

MGSV Quiet Action Figure Has Squeezable Boobs

Both the Metal Gear Solid games and creator Hideo Kojima himself have always had a rather juvenile attitude towards sexuality (I dare you to play Kojima’s point-and-click adventure Policenauts and not cringe at the slightly rapey behaviour towards women it encourages), so it comes as little surprise to find that the action figure based on Metal Gear Solid V character Quiet has been given soft, malleable breasts.

The character of Quiet, a mute sniper and an ally of Big Boss in Konami’s forthcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, has been described by Kojima as “sexy” in order to encourage fans to “want to do cosplay” and make sure “its figurine sells well.”

Kojima revealed photos of the Quiet figurine on his Twitter account this morning – tittering about how it sports boobs that can be “pushed & lifted. lol [sic]” – including one of model maker Yoji Shinkawa squeezing its mammaries together with his fingers.

Stefanie Joosten, the Dutch model who provided motion capture and voice for Quiet – who, being a mute, only emits “sounds like “ugh” and “ah”,” according to Kojima – admitted her surprise at Quiet’s skimpy outfit, but says that it is justified in-universe.

“Of course, I was surprised to see Quiet’s outfit at first,” said Joosten. “But, you know, it fits in the Metal Gear universe. I don’t think I’m allowed to say a lot about this, but, well, Mr. Kojima has his reasons for deciding why Quiet [is] wearing what she’s wearing. Players will just have to look forward to that.”

Kojima also revealed a Raiden figure. It is noticeably lacking a squishy codpiece.

Thank you EuroGamer for providing us with this information.

Reeven BRONTES (RC-1001) Low Profile CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Reeven is still a fairly new company based in Asia that focus on cooling products and also fan controllers. It’s hard to find any Reeven products in the UK as they don’t seem to have any resellers over here, which is a real shame. The products really do look very nice and I think there is certainly a place for them here. We have been sent three coolers that Reeven are looking to push into the UK market, last month we showed you the Reeven Justice and we are going to look at the second one, the Reeven Brontes. The Brontes is a compact low profile CPU cooler, these are for people who are looking for a small office PC or a HTPC rather than a fully kitted out gaming rig or a benching build.

The box for the Brontes is quite simple and as you would expect for such a small unit, rather small. It has all the information you need about the cooler such as which sockets it fits and some nice pictures showing you what to expect inside.

Here is a bit more about the specification of the Reeven Brontes. As you can see, it supports all the popular socket types from both Intel and AMD. As with a lot of low profile coolers though, there is no support for 2011.

Inside the box we get a nice bunch of brackets and fittings to allow us to mount the CPU cooler, the fittings are for both AMD and Intel. One of my pet hates with certain manufacturers is giving a sachet of thermal paste rather than a syringe. The sachet can only be used once, meaning if you need to re-attach the cooler to upgrade the CPU or anything else, then you will have to purchase more separately. Ok, it’s nice that they provide the thermal paste in the first place but syringes are far more usable.

The fan for the Brontes is really quite unique. It is tiny measuring only 100mm x 100mm in diameter an only 12mm wide. The fan comes pre-attached to the cooler so you are ready to go straight out of the box so there is no fiddling around with fan brackets. As you can see, they use the usual colours for Reeven which is black and yellow. I do like how the company sticks with the same two colours all the time, however it could put people off if they are trying to colour match with the fan with the rest of the system, yellow and black is a lovely combination, but there is only a fraction of the market that uses it.

With the fan back on the Brontes you can see how the cooler looks as a whole. I really like the sleek look and it’s great to see that they have sleeved the cable also. The cooler has 4 nickel-plated copper heat pipes to ensure that the heat from the CPU travels to the fins effectively

With a side profile, we can see just how low profile this cooler is. It is 59mm in height so it is perfect for your ITX systems.

One thing I do always love about Reeven products is the way they create their heat sinks. The larger units are works of art and its great to see they have used the same design on their smaller low profile units. The Brontes has a really nice quality feel to it and the last fin of the cooler has the Reeven logo cut out of it giving this really nice finish.

The underside is nickel-plated copper, which ensures the best possible thermal conductivity, as well as a little more eye candy. You can also see that it is actually off centre, this helps you when it comes to installing as if it was central it might foul your RAM. This is a really nice idea to give the user optimal choice.

Installation for the Reeven Brontes couldn’t be easier, it’s simply a case of attaching either the AMD or Intel brackets to the cooler and lining up the holes with the ones on the motherboard, obviously applying the thermal paste first.

Then, simply screw the 4 screws (with rubber washers) through the back of the motherboard to hold the cooler in place.

When the cooler is in place there is plenty of space in between the RAM and the Brontes meaning you can use RAM with large heat sinks if you like.

So, we have seen how this product looks, let’s see how it performs!

Antec Reveals Its Sound-Dampened VSP-5000 Case Solution

Antec announced the VSP-5000, an entry-level case for gamers, which offers a silent solution at the best price-performance ratio. It is said that the VSP-5000 comes with exceptional sound-dampening properties and top-notch performance, having both panels crafted from sound deadening high-density Polycarbonate, while a fan cover sealing the top panel reduces any chance of system sound leakage.

In order to provide an efficient ventilation for components inside, three 120mm fans are provided, two of which are at the top and one at the rear. If that is not enough, two additional fans can be mounted at the front of the case. All fans are controlled via three fan controls, offering two speed settings each in order to achieve the best balance between high performance and quiet environment.

The VSP-5000 in also equipped with seven expansion slots and two bays for optical drives. It consists of a 3.5″ bay, four HDD rail mounds and a dedicated SSD bay. In terms of motherboard compatibility, the VSP-5000 can accommodate Standard ATX, Micro ATX and Mini ITX boards. The case also offers a lot of space for graphic card solutions, users being able to fit almost any graphics card with a length of up to 380mm.

There is also ample space for big high-performance CPU coolers as well, giving the user a 158mm space to fit any CPU cooling solution, while also providing additional space for the cooler to operate at optimum performance. In addition to the latter, the VSP-5000’s top-mounted high-end I/O panel ensures maximum comfort and adds two extra easily accessible USB 3.0 solutions aside from the fan control unit.

The VSP-5000 is currently available at select retailers for a recommended price of £44.99 including VAT.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information

SilverStone SST-AR06 Low-profile CPU Cooler Review

Introduction and Packaging


SilverStone last year, released a new series of coolers called the Argon series, today were going to take a look at the latest one of these; the SilverStone AR06, a low profile CPU cooler. SilverStone are very well well known for their cases such as the iconic TJ07 and TJ11, both excellent cases for system builders and modders alike. They also have a very successful range of power supplies and some AIO coolers. When you think of SilverStone you generally think of quality, good design, usability and when things do occasionally go wrong, good customer service. I’m really looking forward to this one as I recently struggled to find a low profile cooler that worked well, looked good and was cost effective. Let’s hope their new range stands up to their high expectations.

As you can see from the specification below, the cooler supports a range of sockets for both Intel and AMD. It comes installed with a 92mm blue and white PWM fan.

The front of the box features an image of the cooler and boasts about its low profile 58mm height. It has a quick rundown of the main features of the cooler too, such as its “HDC” technology which we will take a look at in a moment.

Around the back we have the same information about the cooler but in many more languages.

One of the sides of the box, it gives you a full specification list, including fan speed.

The other two sides have some nice promotional photos and again mention the HDC technology.

In the box you’ll find the cooler with the fan already attached, an instruction leaflet, AMD and Intel brackets, 4 long hexagonal screws with corresponding nuts, a set of 4 hex nuts and 4 small screws to connect the bracket to the cooler.

Thermaltake Frio Extreme Silent 14 Dual CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Thermaltake are back with their brand new CPU cooler; the Frio Extreme Silent 14 Dual. In the past they have released some excellent products geared towards gamers and overclocking enthusiasts, boasting good value, low temperatures and low acoustics. A near silent PC is always hard to put together and normally you have to sacrifice some of the cooling power to get the PC as quiet as you would like. This cooler is set to try and tackle both problems head on, focusing on silence whilst keeping the performance that we all desire.

I’ve got high hopes for this cooler and with stiff competition coming from the likes of be quiet! and the AIOs that are on the market it will certainly be interesting to see how this stacks up against the competition.

As you can see from the specification below, the cooler supports all major socket types for both Intel and AMD. It comes equipped with two 140mm PWM fans and 0.4mm aluminium fin construction.

The front of the box features an image of the dual 14 CPU cooler and boasts support of up to 240w and low noise.

Around the back is a quick run-down on some of the major features, but we’ll be taking a closer look at those in a moment.

In the box you’ll find a universal backplate with thick foam padding, four fan clips, thermal grease, Intel and AMD mounting brackets, two low noise cables and an assortment of screws and bolts,

iSeries i49 Quiet PC Stand

iSeries i49 Quiet PC Stand


Insomnia i49: There are many regular attendees to Multiplay’s gaming festivals, both on the gamers front, but also in the exhibition hall. QuietPC is just one of the many regular vendors to show off some of the latest hardware on the market and their primary focus as the name suggests is on components the give the best acoustic performance there is.

Around the Satnd Skippy and his team have setup four systems each with a different cooling solution, ranging from silent fan assisted heatsinks, to closed loop water cooling systems and also fully passive heatsinks that can handle a TDP of 95W from Zalman.

Alongside the four systems there is also a select range of peripherals on show as well as some other cooling solutions.

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Stay tuned as we bring you more action from across the weekend, including a closer look at each of the stands in the exhibition hall as well as a look around the event. Also be sure to head over to our i49 live gallery where you can keep up to date with all the action as we see it: http://www.eteknix.com/insomnia-i49-summer-2013-live-gallery/

PowerColor HD Radeon 7850 SCS3 Passive Graphics Card Review

For many years now, passively cooled components and hardware has been the only real way to get a totally silent computer, and this was more of a dream years ago when cooling solutions were not as acoustically pleasing to the ear, however the furnaces of systems back then also meant that the though of going passive would lead to the wonder if the system would melt under the pure heat that came from the components.

Whilst these days, lets admit it, some components still do run relatively hot, the technology behind fans and air coolers in general has come on leaps and bounds, with the water cooling option now more of a reality for many people which also leads to lower temperatures on the hardware installed.

When it comes to it though, for those that relish the dream of a silent system, there is still only one way of truly doing so, and that is to go passive. Now whilst on the low end of the performance scale with components that have a sub 100W TDP this is a great idea, when we look over that threshold things can start to get a little tricky when it comes to handling keeping the GPU core, in this instance, cool under the collar.

PowerColor are not put off by this challenge though and continuing their line of passive products under the SCS3 title, the last of which was a 6850, they aim to take a second attempt at making a mid range card that doesn’t suffer from the heat that a 130W core can produce.

Inside the box PowerColor like we’ve seen before, keep things nice and simple, including a driver CD that no longer bears the ATI branding that we’ve long been waiting to see finally changed.

BeQuiet Product Updates At CeBIT 2013

We have a sit down with Aaron from BeQuiet to see what’s new in their product lineup. Three new items are on show this time round with a non-modular PSU, entry level fan and new heatsink.

Following the trend that was set last year, we can only sit and have a beer with Aaron during the busy day as he takes us through the new items that are on show in the Planet Reseller at CeBIT.

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