Nvidia GTX 1080/1070 Shroud Teardown Appears Online

Earlier in the week, we got our first glimpse of what might be the GTX 1080 might look like. That was pretty much what we expected given what saw earlier of leaked GTX 1080/1070 cooler shrouds. Today, VideoCardz has found someone who has been able to tear down the cooler shroud of the 1080/1070 and show us just how they are made. The shroud reportedly comes in 4 separate parts that are put together to form the entire component.

In the case of this specific leak, the process used is die-sinking. The biggest part comes with the GTX 10_0 punched out, with the third spot left uncut. This will allow for easier reuse to turn it either in GTX 1070 or GTX 1080 shrouds as production needs dictate. The polygonal fan bracket itself is made of magnesium alloy and is the next largest piece. Finally, we have a Nvidia logo and a side panel that has GeForce GTX punched out.

More and more leaks are expected given the fact that GP104 has already entered mass production. There is no way for GP104 to arrive at Computex unless Nvidia already has everything being made. At this point, we should be seeing GP104 cards starting to be shipped to stores in preparation for the launch. All we need now is a leak confirming the GTX 1060Ti.

The Nintendo NX is Rumoured to Have 4K Support

Nintendo’s upcoming console, codenamed ‘NX’, has been the subject of numerous rumours from multiple sources who apparently know confidential details about the system’s key features. Reports have suggested Nintendo will adopt the X86 architecture and be a handheld/home console hybrid. Other leaks indicate it might even use the latest version of Android. The latest rumour was originally posted on Reddit but the author has since decided to remove the post. Thankfully, MyNintendoNews managed to save the details which are listed below:

  • The retail name for the NX is unknown to developers (or they are holding back). I’ve asked multiple sources.
  • I know of at least 1 third-party Wii U game that has/have been successfully ported to NX.
  • Amiibo are still supported (if you hadn’t already guessed).
  • Friend codes are still a thing (unfortunately).
  • I don’t know when the NX will be announced. Speculation is this month.
  • There are multiple “gimmicks” with the NX, one is optional.
  • There are physical dev-kits out in the wild, I don’t have access to these.
  • I don’t know the model of the GPU, however there is little doubt (from what I’ve been told) that it an AMD.
  • The NX is capable of outputting 4k. Consensus is upscaling and streaming.
  • DDR4 Memory (between 6GB – 8GB). EDIT: Available to software.

Apparently, the NX will support 4K, but the games will not natively run at this resolution. It’s not overly surprising given the graphical horsepower required to push so many pixels. Honestly, I’m really concerned by the claim of multiple “gimmicks” because history dictates similar measures proved to be unpopular. While the Wii U gamepad is a novel idea, I found it uncomfortable for prolonged periods. On another note, the Wii remote didn’t really add anything to core games and felt extremely unnecessary. I think it’s important for Nintendo to innovate but create something which doesn’t have any gimmicks.

Of course, this is from an unverified source so it’s vital to take these claims with a pinch of salt.

Leaked Images Show Nvidia GTX 1000 Shroud

The latest graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia are on their way, and that means one thing, someone has them! The new cards are no doubt undergoing a lot of development, testing and manufacturing in various parts of the world, so leaked information is always inevitable. The latest batch of images show us what appears to be a new shroud design for the 1000 series of cards from Nvidia, namely their GTX 1070 and 1080 designs.

The revised NVTTM cooling solution design features a similar design to the current crop of cards,  but with a much more aggressive and angular design. Of course, we’ve seen many leaks in the past and for the most part these days, they’re often right on the money. However, after the whole Nintendo NX controller fiasco, we have to advice you all to take these images with one more pinch of salt than usual.

That being said, we’re about two months away from Computex, and only a week away from Nvidia GTC, so it makes sense that some cards would be getting produced, at least in terms of visual design, to be featured at these shows. Nvidia are going to want to show off something at their own event and Computex, it just makes sense.

You can see the metal housing in the images, as well as CNC machines and cutting fluid. Could this be an Nvidia production line, or just part of an elaborate hoax? My gut instinct is saying these are real, but with any luck, we won’t have much longer to find out the truth.

Are you looking forwards to the 1000 series of cards from Nvidia? Let us know in the comments section below.

Is Sony Developing a 4K-Capable PlayStation 4?

With Microsoft already admitting that they want to make the Xbox One upgradable and Nintendo developing the NX, it should come as no surprise that Sony seems to have future plans for their Playstation 4 in the works. According to developer sources, Sony has begun briefing them on a new version of their popular Playstation 4 console, currently nicknamed the PS4.5 or PS4K, which will include improved graphical output as well as support for 4K resolutions.

Currently, the only things the PS4 is capable of displaying natively in 4K are photos and videos, with all of the current console’s games running at a still-respectable 1080p. Comparatively, 4K resolution includes approximately four times the pixels of 1080p, which requires far more power in order to run. Even many respectable gaming PCs are unable to run many games smoothly at 4K. A more powerful PS4 may also be able to deliver higher quality graphics to the upcoming PlayStation VR headset which may be able to bring its VR resolution and quality closer to that offered by the PC’s VR peripherals. Whether this upgrade to the PS4 will require the existing user-base to purchase all-new consoles or that current consoles will be upgradeable to the newer specification is unknown as details are thin on the ground.

It is important to remember that while a number of sources all support one another in that this new evolution of the PS4 is in the works, it may also just be a rumour. One source went so far as to say that the idea of such a mid-life upgrade for the PS4 is more of an exploratory and vague idea and may never be realized. How well such an upgrade would go down with the community may make this a risky move for Sony, as there would be many tough questions to answer, such as whether games that are “PS4.5 only” start to be released. It may only be rumours at this point, but it is interesting to think that Sony may be planning a revamped PS4 before moving onto a potential PlayStation 5.

Semiconductor Marvell Could be up for Sale

The semiconductor industry is a tough area to operate in and it is a dog-eat-dog world, and now it looks like Marvell Technology Group could be the next to be swallowed by a bigger dog on the market. According to an article in the New York Post, the chip maker could be up for sale and Broadcom/Avago could be the possible buyer.

This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard of Avago’s interest in Marvell. Last July several news outlets reported that Avago was interested in the purchase, but was holding their bid until the Broadcom and Avago merger was completed.

It hasn’t gone all that good for Marvell lately despite them making some great chips that we see all the time here in the office when we review products. For example, last month they reached a settlement with Carnegie Mellon University for $750 million and they have also just been through an audit for alleged fraud. They were however cleared in the audit and there wasn’t found any evidence of wrongdoing or accounting fraud as the allegations said.

Still, the stock has been on a steady decline as the semiconductor business generally has been going down and stockholders demand that the company cuts costs. After the stock dove about 40 percent of the past year, it doesn’t come as a big surprise that the stockholders demand some action.

Whether Broadcom (AVGO) will make an official bid or not is something time will tell and I’m sure that there will be a lot of details to iron out between the two before they’ll reach an agreement, if they do at all. There is however also some doubt on whether such a merger could result in an antitrust scrutiny as some of the areas of the two overlap, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Ethernet switching chips, among others.

New Rumours About The Nintendo NX Have Been Revealed

Nintendo’s upcoming console, codenamed NX, is rumoured to arrive later this year and could feature a revolutionary handheld/home console hybrid design. This is pure speculation though and Nintendo has done their utmost to keep details of the NX confidential. I applaud this approach because it creates a web of intrigue and makes the official unveiling very exciting. Recently, new information regarding Nintendo’s upcoming console was revealed by Geno, and published by the website, DualPixels. Geno accurately predicted the latest Pokemon game announcements which suggests the leaked NX details might be credible. Here’s a detailed run-down of what Nintendo apparently has planned:

“I don’t have many details on the device itself but I do have some background for it and some PR techniques they will use for it. A thing to note about this device is that much of it’s production was started in 2014 and many of the stuff I list here was outlined by the late Satoru Iwata before his passing. Hence in the company, the NX is considered the last project of their late president. Employees since his passing utter a phrase at the end of meetings and during idea brainstorms which is “岩田のために!” which roughly translates “For Iwata!”

“The importance of this is that this “new” Nintendo is highly motivated in delivering a fantastic system and games, something that I quote from an employee “have not seen this much forward momentum on a project since they launched the original Famicom”.

  1. It has a wireless HDMI dongle that attaches flush to the back of the device. A user can pull it out and insert it into any display with a normal sized HDMI output and the devices uses an evolved version of the Wii U’s streaming tech to display in HD to the TV screen.
  2. Allegedly the analog controls for movement has small motors in them for full haptic feedback. Meaning if you control a character and hit a wall, the sticks move away from the direction of that wall to simulate running head first into it. This can also be used for jerking when firing a gun, taking damage, moving over rough terrain, ect.
  3. It can literally Bluetooth synch with everything, especially smart phone and tablets to the point where one feature is that it can answer phone calls and display text messages from your phone onto the screens itself so you don’t have to stop and answer your smart device.
  4. The closest in terms of “power” it gets to is the Xbox One, but an app idea is Wii U x50 and Playstation Vita x100. The key is that all the tech is exactly the same hardware layout as the PS4 and Xbox One which then combine it with the OS’s strong emulation functions and compiler means that any game that can run of a Playstation 4 or Xbox One can easily run on the NX with near-zero modification to the original source code, especially if it runs in Android OS or Unreal Engine 4. This is allegedly why Nintendo has given out the dev kits so late, as one 3rd Party dev put it “It’s the easiest device we’ve ever developed for. You just take your code, compile it and it works.”
  5. Look to Pokemon GO to get the idea of the type of social features that will be in NX that will take multiplayer, AR and the StreetPass concept to a whole new level.
  6. The real strengths of the device is its usability and ease of use. Developers have described to me more than once that it visually and functionally looks as if “Samsung and the Nintendo 2DS” had a baby, in that it looks friendly but unlike what most people visualize a Nintendo device to typically look. The operating system, named NintendOS alone is very powerful and has so many modern features of mobile operating systems today that Nintendo is trying to be very careful in showing it off for fear that it would be mistaken as running Android. It also has a very strong networking functions as it ties into multiple devices and services allowing a very competent and pervasive eco-system designed to constantly involve the consumer’s lives.

As always, this could be pure fabrication, and it’s unknown what Nintendo’s new system entails. However, the source has been known to be accurate in the past. I’m slightly concerned by the power issue though because Nintendo needs to offer some additional graphical grunt to keep it relevant after the current console generation has subsided.

iPhone 5se Drawings Reveal The Mini iPhone’s Possible Design

Apple is known for their hardware, from their iPods and iPads to their desktop Macs and portable Macbooks. One thing they release time and time again is their iPhones, with each generation getting a slightly reworked design and hardware upgrades to tempt users into purchasing the next device they release, it could soon be the case that you see something that looks a little bit more dated with something managing to find information referencing the much rumoured iPhone 5se.

The iPhone SE, with the 5 being dropped from its name, is said to be a new mini iPhone with the same dimensions as the iPhone 5s. With a little help from keen-eyed people, it’s now been found that the phone would feature a few changes.

Firstly the phone will feature its sleep/wake/power button on the side of the phone, a twist from the traditional top of phone approach used by most modern phones. Initial schematics also show that while the iPhone will feature curved edges there will also be a small “camera bump”. Even with these changes, the phone looks similar to the iPhone 5s in design and features, albeit it with more than likely some hardware upgrades.

It is expected that the device will be revealed on the 15th March, with a release following only a few days after. With minimal pre-order time and back to basics size option, some people may be tempted to give up their increased screen size for the ease and comfort offered by the small device.

Images courtesy of 9To5Mac.

New 4-Inch iPhone is Apparently Much Cheaper

There’s been a deluge of rumours regarding Apple’s upcoming 4-inch handset, and its purpose in the current market place. Theoretically, the “iPhone SE” is designed to be a replacement for the iPhone 5s launched in 2013. It’s not a major change, but a basic revamp to offer more options to consumers who prefer a smaller model. Sources indicate that the new device will sport an almost identical aesthetic design to the iPhone 5s with slightly curved edges. However, the internals have been enhanced and should include an A9 processor, Apple Pay and Live Photos functionality.

According to KGI Securities, the iPhone SE incorporates an impressive 12-megapixel camera, and targets the $400-$500 price point. This is a surprisingly affordable price and suggests Apple is trying to forge a position in the mid-range sector. This would greatly broaden the device’s appeal and allow consumers with a smaller budget to own a brand new iPhone. Apple also intends to drop the iPhone 5s price by a whopping 50 percent to help shift units. KGI estimates 131 percent growth in 4-inch iPhone shipments to around 37 million units in 2016. Although, they predict most of these sales stem from the iPhone 5S after large discounts. Apple is expected to launch the iPhone SE at an event on March 16th as well as a new 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

Apple devices always have a price premium and their previous attempt to offer a budget-orientated model with the iPhone 5c was flawed. This is because the 5c’s price wasn’t significantly cheaper and evoked a poor feel. To be successful, Apple needed to create a large pricing gap between the two handsets. On the other hand, the iPhone SE looks very interesting and suggests a change in attitude from Apple. Despite this, there’s a huge amount of competition from Samsung, HTC, LG and other Chinese manufacturers. Although, Apple has this knack of enticing large numbers of people to purchase their products.

Samsung Galaxy Note 6 Rumored to Have 6GB of RAM

Modern mobile phones usually sport a very impressive specification and the technology continues to progress at a rapid pace. It’s common for relatively affordable models to have 2-3GB RAM, and an octa-core CPU. For example, the Hauwei Honor 7 is frequently discounted to £209.99 and utilizes a Hisilicon Kirin 935 processor with a quad-core 2.2 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 configuration. This exemplifies how capable modern smartphones are even if you’re on a very limited budget. Arguably, this means there really isn’t a need to spend a fortune unless you enjoy using a top-of-the-range model.

The Samsung Galaxy Note popularized “phablet” devices and there’s been a growing trend to gradually increase the screen size on various handsets. So far, Samsung has experimented with screen sizes ranging from 5.7 to 6 inches to gauge the market reaction. The Galaxy Note has traditionally featured a 5.7-inch display and some users feel this is far too cumbersome for daily use. However, according to a rumour posted on a Chinese blog, the screen size could be increased to 5.8-inches.

Not only that, the source suggests Samsung will use a Quad-HD Super AMOLED display, and include a 12-megapixel camera. Oddly enough, the camera utilizes something entitled, “Super OIS” but we’re not entirely certain what this means. Perhaps, it’s a special software suite to help with image stabilization. The handset is also rumoured to come in two models; one with 64GB of storage while the higher end unit incorporates 128GB. On another note, the blog predicts Samsung will opt for 6GB of RAM in their latest Note device. This is an unbelievable amount of memory, and I’m not sure why anyone would need that much on an Android phone. Obviously, you can never have too much RAM, but I don’t really see a purpose for it. Furthermore, this will impact on cost.

Sony Denies PlayStation VR Price Leak

We’ve recently seen the Oculus Rift become available for pre-orders and the first batch of them was gone very quickly, so there is a market for these virtual reality devices despite their somewhat high price for some people. While the Oculus Rift will set you back $600 as a pre-order, you also get a controller and a couple of games included in the bundle. With that in mind, a lot of people that have both a PC and a PlayStation 4 had hoped that Sony’s PlayStation VR might be a cheaper option. That might or might not be the case, but if Amazon’s recent price leak was real, then it will cost more than the Rift.

Amazon Canada has started to list Sony’s PlayStation VR on their website and for a short while it had a price attached to it. The listing is still active at the time of writing this article, but the price has since been removed again. Amazon Canada had the Sony PlayStation VR headset listed for $1125.35 CAD which is about $800 USD, making it $200 more expensive than the Oculus Rift. Forbes was first to report on this, but Sony was quick to come out with a statement to the outlet. “This was an error by Amazon, we haven’t announced a price for PlayStation VR.”

While it is natural for Sony to come out and deny the leak right away with a phrasing that doesn’t really deny the leak itself, it is most likely just a price holder set by Amazon and one that shouldn’t have been shown. This is common practice and we’ve seen the PS4 being listed for $1000 before it officially became available – again just as a placeholder. We should also remember, as mentioned a few times already, that Oculus already revealed the price for their Rift headset. Sony will naturally try to compete with this price as much as it is possible for them. This will be the year where virtual reality really starts and it could make a lot of difference down the road who secures themselves the biggest userbase from the start.

While this $800 Sony PlayStation VR price leak might have been a letdown, I’m sure that we will know the real price very soon. After all, the PSVR headset is set for a Q1 2016 release.

More iPhone 7 Details

Every year we see another selection of technology released, sometimes contain new technologies and sometimes old technologies are continued into the next selection of hardware released. One market that keeps moving forward is the mobile market and Apple looks to continue with its iPhone 7. With rumours about it being waterproof spreading, it was only a matter of time before we got more iPhone 7 details, something we now have.

A source that is said to have had knowledge of the plans detailed several features that have long been rumoured. The big one will be that the iPhone 7 will come without the standard 3.5mm headphone jack and will instead use a propriety headphone jack built into the lightning port and created in collaboration with Wolfson Microelectronics. With rumours flying around since their patent application for the new headphone connection, the new system is said to feature noise-cancelling technology created by Wolfson Microelectronics both within the phone and the headphones themselves in order to help reduce background noise. The source continued to say that other companies would need to buy a licence to use the technology within their own models.

The source states that they are also putting in wireless charging technology (after considering it in their last two iPhones) into the iPhone 7, alongside the new waterproof status that its said to carry.

While it is still several months before the phone begins production, many iPhone users will no doubt worry about the need to buy expensive headphones or an adapter in order to listen to music on their iPhone without wireless headphones.

AMD Hints Possible Price Drops for Current-Gen Consoles

We have already seen some price drops on the current generation gaming consoles, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but it hasn’t been anything that major up until now. Consoles have a scheduled lifetime before the next generation of 5 to 7 years, so they’ll still be around for a while. We do however see optimizations along the way as it also happened in the past, the PS2 and PS3 both got upgrades along the way.

AMD has now hinted that there at least are opportunities in the current generation’s lifetime to develop new technology that will allow for a price drop without any impact on performance. This is most likely based on optimization of the production line and process along with the initial development costs starting to get back home and not have as big an impact as when a product is freshly launched. This news came out during a round-table talk where AMD’s CEO Lisa Su attended.

“The consoles work on a five to seven year strategy, that’s the lifetime for these consoles,” said Lisa Su. “Without talking about any particular party’s console; there will be opportunities to cost-reduce.

While Lisa Su didn’t mention any timeframe on this, it is pretty safe to assume that it won’t be far in the future. We are also approaching the mid-life of the current generation consoles that were launched roughly three years ago now and that was about the time where we saw upgrades in the previous generation Xbox and PlayStation consoles.

While some might argue that PC gaming is superior to Consoles, and it probably is, consoles have their merit and there is no doubt why they keep such a high popularity. A price drop on said consoles could further boost the sales by convincing more people to get it. A cheaper price is something we all like and I’m sure that they’ll quickly make up for the lost profit in that regards with the higher sales numbers and thereby more sales of games and peripherals too.

Assassin’s Creed Franchise Taking a Breather

The Assassin’s Creed franchise has seen its share of bad publicity with the last couple of games released. Assassin’s Creed Unity was a fiasco of magnitudes and while Syndicate did better, it failed to reach the same sales records as previous games. Both Ubisoft and Assassin’s Creed have gotten a bad name and it looks like they’re pulling the breaks in order to take a breather and get the series back on track.

According to multiple anonymous sources which have provided credible leaks in this franchise before, we won’t see any new game in this series in 2016 at all. The next Assassin’s Creed game will instead come in 2017, giving the developing studio a little more time to come up with a fix for a broken game.

Now when I say broken game, I don’t refer to the trouble with Unity, but rather the whole concept. Assassin’s Creed is caught between the casual and hardcore gamers and with a product that doesn’t satisfy either one in the end. The original stealth approach has been replaced with a more straight on slaughter mode and the introduction of more and more firearms also disgruntled a lot of users. Not to mention the ship battles in Blag Flag, that while cool seemed totally out of place in the game.

One of the anonymous sources also leaked some information on the new games location and setup, but that wasn’t confirmed by any of the other sources. But according to this source, the new Assassin’s Creed game coming out in 2017 will be set in Ancient Egypt with the protagonist being a (former) slave. The project is codenamed Empire, but that will most likely not be the official name. The new game is said to

The new game is said to get a Witcher 3 feel with player progression and a freeform combat system. The environment is described as extremely colourful and with very little parkour. Both of these things might be something that will leave the hardcore fans disappointed. There will be horses and ships to travel, but no naval combat, oh and you’ll get a pet eagle like the one known from the Far Cry franchise.

While I think that it is great that Ubisoft is taking a breather to rebuild a damaged and what used to be one of my favourite game series, I’m not convinced that what has been leaked so far will change much. It’s just not the same game anymore.

As bonus information, I can add that it looks like Ubisoft will use the opening created by this to release Watch Dogs 2 instead, but that’s just another rumour so far.

iPhone 7 Rumoured To Be Waterproof!

We have all dropped our phone, some of us have been lucky enough to pick up a functioning phone afterwards. Some of us, however, have been less than lucky, dropping our phone into a puddle or a cup and seeing that water cover the device. After a night in rice in the airing cupboard, we’ve all wished we just had a waterproof phone. It looks like that may be the case for the new iPhone 7 though.

Tests reportedly conducted on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus have shown that they are apparently virtually waterproof (we at eTeknix do not recommend testing this with your own phone), while the iPhone 7 is set for release later in the year it is also set to bring along several new features.

With dual rear cameras and optical zoom, fingerprint recognition on the main screen and wireless charging, it could soon see you enjoying a whole new experience with a device which could even get rid of that little home button at the bottom of your phone. Another rumoured feature is that the iPhone 7 could be completely waterproof, a feature which will come as more of a relief to some than it will to overs.

Are you looking forward to the iPhone 7? Have you ever dropped your phone in water before? In the meanwhile enjoy this video of someone dunking iPhones in water.

 

The New Nintendo NX Controller Looks Seriously Weird!

The upcoming Nintendo NX is shaping up to be a strange beast, at least if a patent for the devices controller are anything to go by. If industry rumours are anything to go by, we know it’s going to be powerful, although with two, going on three years, between the NX and the current crop of games consoles, Nintendo have an advantage of more GPU powerful hardware per dollar to work with. Although, let’s be honest, it doesn’t take a flipping rocket scientist to guess that it’ll be powered by some kind of AMD/GPU/APU hybrid, AMD has that market sealed up pretty tight.

The new patent filings don’t fill me with confidence that Nintendo is learning from this past mistakes. The patent covers a controller which has a display on it, with two holes, most likely to allow for analogue sticks to pass through it. This is a much more refined object compared to the gargantuan Wii U tablet controller, and given that this looks like a relatively normal controller shape, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. What worries me is that Nintendo are likely still pushing into the gimmick end of the spectrum. The price of this controller could be high, limiting it to one per console, like we had with the Wii U tablet controller.

The tech sounds awesome, but the real world applications could cause a lot of headaches that you just won’t have with a simple plug and play controller. If Nintendo wants to capture the hardcore gaming crowd from their rivals, or multi-platform titles, it’s something they’ll need to address. Of course, I’m speculating on a rumour, so take it all with a pinch or three of salt.

If this is the real controller, it’s a huge improvement over the days of waving your arms, so that’s a good start.

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X2 Could Launch Next Month!

It looks like AMD are cooking up a big product launch for December, one that could knock Nvidia into the stone age! The as yet un-named graphics card from the red team is currently not officially named, but let’s call this powerhouse the Fury X2 for conversations sake. We’ve already known about this card for a little while now, as Lisa Su was keen to show off a PCB that had not one, but two Fiji GPUs on board. The only problem is when, where and how much it will be, are still unknown.

AMD are to hold a special event in December, where it is believed the Fury X2 will be released. With no rumours pointing to a similar dual-GPU monster from the Nvidia camp, a dual Fiji and HBM equipped card could quickly put AMD back at the top of the GPU power food chain.

The first new teaser comes courtesy of Johan Andersson of DICE, always a reliable source for leaks as he previously teased the 295X2 and the R9 290X. Unfortunately for Johan and no doubt AMD, it seems his “pre-release GPU” had some leaks of its own.

Expect more information to follow quite quickly, as is often the case with leaks, there’s always more than one.

Nvidia to Launch GTX 960 Ti to Tackle R9 380X?

OK, let’s get one thing out of the way, this is a rumour and should be taken with a pinch of fist full of salt. According to some leaked information, it would seem that Nvidia is cooking up a new graphics card to compete with AMD in the mid-to-high end GPU ranges. The new card, expected to be the Nvidia GTX 960 Ti, would most likely be made from a cut-down GM204, which would be perfect to take on the affordable powerhouse that is the AMD Radeon R9 380X.

So where would this card sit in the current Nvidia line-up? The GTX 960 is already sporting 1024 CUDA cores/8 SMMs and the higher up model, the GTX 970 has 1664 CUDA/13SMMs, so it would make sense that the GTX 960 Ti would sit snug between the two in terms of performance and price. Best guess would be around 1280-1408 CUDA cores, with around 10 SMMs, and a retail price of around $250.

No doubt the new card will feature MX 2.0 architecture, DX12 support and will buy some time for Nvidia to keep working on their new Pascal architecture, but still keep new Maxwell products coming to market. AMD are currently putting up a hell of a fight at this price range, beating out many Nvidia cards in price and performance, so it makes sense that Nvidia will counter attack this, which certainly adds weight to the already plausible rumours.

What the new card will be called remains to be seen, but GTX 960 Ti seems like a safe bet.

Mass Effect: Andromeda Details Leaked?

Two mods from the Mass Effect subreddit (‘Salsadips‘ and ‘KYCygni’) have been contacted by an anonymous source claiming to have played an early version of BioWare’s Mass Effect: Andromeda and supplied them with details of the in-development game. While none of the information, nor the integrity of the source itself, can be verified, the two mods say that they have been provided proof of the leaker’s integrity.

The pair compiled the information gleaned from their source into the following YouTube video:

Mass Effect subreddit user DealWithTheC-12 handily broke down the key points contained in the video for those unable to watch:

  • 2 squad mates as before, a human blonde and a Krogan mentioned;
  • All squad mates have jetpacks which come into play in exploration;
  • Omnitool has more functionality, for example a combat shield;
  • Greater detail in character facial features and models;
  • Destructible covers (Yay Frostbite!);
  • Completely different ship (I take it as a step away from the frigate sized ship that we saw in Normandy and towards a larger ship, perhaps the one seen here);
  • Hints at Mako customization;
  • ‘Pathfinder quarters’ section in the ship
  • Main character is referred to as ‘the pathfinder’;
  • Story revolves around finding a new home for humanity and other races;
  • New ship travel system (Instead of the old galaxy map) where you manually fly the ship;
  • Enemies (the main opposing force I assume) are bipedal cross between Vorcha and Collectors;
  • The (non-human) enemies drop into combat from Cerberus ships (I would assume a placeholder, but if it’s not then it gets interesting)
  • One of the antagonists is a human soldier with armor similar to yours but without N7 insignia.

Leaked Slide Suggests AMD and NVIDIA Will Both Use GDDR5X

We have previously reported the rumours that Nvidia was planning to use GDDR5X on their upcoming Pascal graphics cards, a rumour that not everyone bought right away. But there are quite a few reasons that we could see this happen and the newest leak seems to support this.

Last time it was a German site that leaked the GDDR5X information and this time we get news from a Russian outlet that got their hands on what looks like leaked slides from Micron of the upcoming GDDR5x memory. The site also suggests that this won’t be limited to only Nvidia, but that AMD also will want to get on board and use this type of memory on some of their graphics cards next year.

HBM, and HBM2 might be very exciting and be the next mainstream graphics memory, but it is still a costly one to produce and the production is also limited. This leaves room for the next GDDR5 standard to make its entry. GDDR5X offers double the data-rate per memory access of 64 byte/access compared to 32 byte/access of the current GDDR5 standard. Where current GDDR5 tops out at around 7Gbps, the new standard will initially offer 10-12 Gbps with a later goal to achieve 16 Gbps.

The implementation of the new memory should be relatively easy and cheap for manufacturers as the new chips will retain the same pin layout. With all this information, we can assume that HBM will be reserved for the top-tier graphics cards for the foreseeable future while GDDR5x will breath more power into mid-level and entry-level cards and allow them to perform better at the ever-increasing resolutions.

Apple Could Have A Car By 2019

More and more companies are finding new and innovative ways to expand their brands, with the likes of Google and Microsoft making everything from the computers you use and the software you tap away on to the augmented reality glasses and self-driving cars you wish you could have now. The latest to join the car party at least could be Apple according to the Wall Street Journal.

According to initial reports, a “source with knowledge of the matter” has stated that Apple could be looking at creating an Apple branded electric car as soon as 2019. Apple has been looking at this for many years now and has been studying if it would be feasible to create an Apple car.

With permission to triple their staff (which currently stands at around 600 people), it could be sooner rather than later for Apple to make a splash in the automotive industry.

With companies like Tesla, who have just announced the Tesla X’s price and shown that the Tesla S doing over 450 miles on a single charge, Apple could be coming into some steep competition.

Would you like to own an electric car made by Apple? Finally, and most importantly, would it be called the iCar?

Thank you Ars Technica for the information.

Image courtesy of Tech News Today.

Xbox One Mini Turns Out To Be Just A Rumour

Companies have a trend when it comes to releasing hardware, they will release new a model, a big revelation and then several months later release versions with slight upgrades. They could have larger processors and better memory, or even just be smaller and more compact in size. It has come as no surprise that this continues to be the trend even now as more companies are building hardware for everyday use both in your pocket and your home. Earlier this month a rumour emerged outlining just one of those newer models, an Xbox one which would be more compact, aptly nicknamed the Xbox One Mini. However last night on twitter Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s head of Xbox, shut down these rumours in just two words.

With rumours flying around that Microsoft will be using their October launch event to show off several new products including two new models of Lumia phones, the Microsoft Band 2 and the Surface 4. With all this technology being revealed then it would be no surprise to find that there is even more to be revealed in October, some could possibly be about the Xbox or even the next generation of console.

With each iteration of technology getting faster and more usable, it won’t be long until the rumours spread for more compact consoles which contain new features, such as the patent behind Nintendo’s console which contains no optical drive.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Tech Radar

Valve Talks About Half-Life 3

There has been rumour after rumour surrounding the Half-Life series, ever since launch back in 1997. Valve hasn’t strictly confirmed nor denied the development of Half-Life 3, but yet more rumours have been doing the rounds on Reddit that a script has been finished, but it won’t be released ‘due to fear’.

When Reddit users reached out to Valve’s Marc Laidlaw, his responses were, interesting.

“I can’t comment on Valve’s internal process, but I can say that it sounds like someone is trolling. Anonymous sources have been posting speculation masquerading as inside knowledge since the Half-Life 1 delay in 1997. If that’s any comfort, please rest assured that in my experience at Valve, fear is the last thing that would ever drive a decision about what to work on”. 

One user asked “If the story is finished, why not release it as a book or a comic”, Laidlaw responded with “There’s a misunderstanding that I’ve always tried to address straight on when this question comes up, which is that a Half-Life story can somehow exist outside of a game. It can’t. The story is created through the process of trying to figure out how to best use the features of the engine within the interesting set of constraints it poses”. 

“The story is a part of the game. It doesn’t exist as a separate script that is handed off to game designers which they are expected to somehow make compelling through puzzles and combat”, he continued. He then finished off by saying “The story develops while trying to solve the problem of how to make a fun game. It’s like saying ‘Why don’t you write a sonnet that’s a novel?’ The Half-Life story is really only as good as the game that lets you play it”.

I don’t quite know what to make of that, has the script been finalised and they’re just waiting on a new game engine to produce it? Is this just a load of lies trying to keep the fire burning? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Thank you to TweakTown for providing us with this information.

Nvidia Reportedly Working on Two New GPUs With HBM2 Memory

We have known for a while now that Nvidia wanted to get onto the HBM wagon too and that is pretty much a given. It’s the next generation video memory and it looks extremely promising so far. The next gen GPU should be the GP100 and it will reportedly rock somewhere between 4500 and 6000 CUDA cores and it will be coupled with HBM2 memory.

The latest news now points towards two new graphics cards: one for the consumer market and one for the server and workstations, again this is almost a logical assumption anyway. The first new GPU will use 4-Hi stacks of HBM2 memory and be aimed at the consumer market while the other business-oriented GPU will feature 8-Hi stacks of HBM2 memory. Effectively that means HBM powered graphics cards from Nvidia with up to 32GB of very fast VRAM.

Whether the new consumer model will be named the GeForce GTX 1080 is currently unknown. It could very well be that Nvidia is working on a new naming too, not only to avoid the thousand digits, but also to underline that is truly is a next generation graphics card; much like AMD has done with their Fury branding.

We’ll make sure to keep you updated as more news and leaks emerge on these new Nvidia 16nm based graphics cards.

Thank You TweakTown for providing us with this information

Facebook Wants to Roll Out Their Own Music App

Since Apple released the iOS 8.4 update along with their Apple Music feature, we saw a lot of users taking an interest in it. Reports say that iOS 8.4 now has an adoption rate of over 40% and the number keeps rising. And since Apple has settled with the royalty rates paid to the people in the music industry, things are just looking up for their service.

Facebook looks like it took a big interest in this success and seems to have put its smartphone manufacturing plans on hold. Sources say that Facebook is now looking to either acquire or built their own music service from scratch. Music Ally tells that sources talking off the record say Facebook is using an aggressive monetization approach and a lot of intellectual property acquisitions.

The sources also say that Facebook might have the service, or at least a rough version of it, ready in a few months, but an actual commercial app should be ready by next year. If the latter provides to be true, we might see an even bigger competitor in the music streaming market. So we have Apple taking away a lot of customers as of late, and then Facebook seems to make a move and try to take a big chunk of the market too. The reasonable question to ask is, what will Spotify do? Will it come with something radical, or will it radically die out?

Thank you VR-Zone for providing us with this information

Nintendo’s NX Console Rumoured to be Less Powerful Than Playstation 4

Nintendo’s home consoles have struggled to attract third party developers since the Wii and this could be due to the lack of GPU horsepower. Traditionally, this wasn’t the case as Nintendo’s systems pushed the graphical boundaries through innovative technology such as the SuperFX chip. Furthermore, it’s often overlooked that the Gamecube was more powerful than Sony’s Playstation 2. The Wii U has struggled to be a commercial success and Nintendo’s ethos of their consoles being supplementary to the Xbox One and PS4 doesn’t look like changing any time soon.

According to Liam Robertson of Unseen64, Nintendo isn’t targeting the graphical capabilities of the PlayStation 4. In a Twitter post, he said:

As with any rumour, it’s important to question the validity of each source. Liam Robertson’s pedigree shows he is credible and accurately leaked information in the past. For example, he divulged that Criterion Games almost created a new F-Zero if it wasn’t for their commitments to Need For Speed: Most Wanted. Additionally, his evidence proved correct in regards to the appalling working environment at Project H.A.M.M.E.R. Even though this doesn’t prove anything, it does suggest his statements should be taken seriously and are more than a baseless rumour.

While this move isn’t unexpected, it is quite disappointing. Nintendo’s home systems have suffered from a lack of games, and support from 3rd party developers. Surely, their experience with the Wii U would shift their focus to a more traditional console without expensive gimmicks based on raw performance and enticing games. I hope this story ends up being false, but I’m not too hopeful.

Thank you NintendoLife for providing us with this information. 

Warner Bros Montreal Might Be Working on Open World Superman Game

It doesn’t take much to get the rumour mill running these days, but I have to say that this is one that I’m particularly excited about. A new screenshot published on Twitter hints that Warner Bros’ studio in Montreal might be working on a new game, and what a game it could be.

The screenshot that was published shows a character selection screen and there isn’t any doubt who we see there. The user interface buttons, however, resemble something close to a Xbox 360/One controller design.

The rumour suggests that an open-world Superman game could be in the works and that is backed by the news from last week where WB Games Montreal is hiring to fill 15 positions for an open world action game. The game name wasn’t specified and it was just referred to as “a new IP project for next generation game platforms”. Furthermore, the description hints even more in the Superman direction as it reads “a passionate dev team developing DC Comics focused AAA games that evolve and celebrate the legendary brands of Warner Bros.”

After the rumour broke, other sources told that Warner Bros Montreal isn’t working on a Superman game, but rather the rumoured Suicide Squad. Neither is confirmed or denied.

I for one really hope that there is an open-world Superman game in the works somewhere out there, even if it isn’t by Warner Bros. That is one game I’d absolutely have to have.

Rumour: AMD Fury Lineup Detailed

With a name hearkening back to earlier times, AMD is set to release Fury to combat Nvidia’s Titan X. While we’ve long known that Fury carries HBM, the exact lineup details have been more sketchy. A new report coming from hwbattle [Korean] suggests that the Fury lineup will consist of three chips, Fury Pro, Fury XT and Fury Nano. Giving past naming conventions, the XT will be the high-end model followed by the Pro and Nano.

Three models does make some sense as there is quite a performance gap in AMD’s lineup if they want to beat the Titan X. While it’s good to have a product that can match or beat the Titan X, it’s also important to have cards that can slot in against the 980Ti and the 980. It does jive with the fact that some rumors had suggested that Fury would beat Titan X while others have said it loses to the 980Ti. With 3 different Fury cards, it’s very well possible for the XT model to beat Titan X while the Pro or Nano might fall short of the TitanX or even the 980Ti.

According to the source, reference models will launch with water-cooled models as have been previously leaked. In addition, air cooled reference models are also expected to debut at launch, potentially in a three fan configuration like the HD 7990 and other non-reference models of the past. Given the expected specifications and how hot comparable products like the 295X2 and Titan X are, heat is expected to be high, explaining the water cooling but the source suggests that noise won’t be an issue with the reference coolers this time around.

For the first month or so of availability, only reference models will be available. The supply of these models is expected to be limited, but non-reference cards from partners are expected to arrive between mid-August and early September. It’s critical to note that all this information so far is an unconfirmed leak. AMD will reveal more information next week on June 16th so stay tuned till then.