There Was ‘No Intention’ to Make a Red Dead Redemption PC Version

Red Dead Redemption is one of the greatest open world games ever created and PC gamers have been longing for a PC release for many years. Sadly, it seems this was never up for consideration according to Red Dead Redemption’s lead multiplayer designer, Kris Roberts who said during a Twitch stream:

“I don’t think there was ever an intention to have a PC version of Red Dead Redemption. I was actually really shocked that they did a PC version of Grand Theft Auto V. Obviously in development, we were all PC based and had it running for win32 clients for the entire development. But as far as the licensing for the consoles and stuff, it was pretty much always going to be an X360 and PS3 title… we never really seriously talked about optimizing it for PC.”

The popularity of PC gaming has dramatically increased over the last decade so that could explain Rockstar’s initial dismissive nature towards the platform. Hopefully, the sales of GTA V on PC will provide enough encouragement to make them port the game to PC in the future. This is a possibility if Rockstar decides to make a HD remaster for the current-generation consoles.

I do find it a bit perplexing to hear Roberts’ surprise regarding Grand Theft Auto V. Firstly, the GTA franchise had strong roots on the PC and every single major release has eventually come to the platform. Not only that, PC gaming is already a resounding success and becoming more profitable than consoles. Therefore, to limit a huge title like GTA V to the consoles wouldn’t make business sense. Rockstar were very shrewd and managed to get certain customers to purchase the game on Xbox 360/PS3 then current-generation consoles and finally PC.

On another note, retail console games have a very short lifespan and years down the line, the majority of sales result in very little money due to the second hand market. PC gaming is a completely different beast with the modding community and Steam sales. I’m honestly finding Roberts’ analysis and general train-of-thought to be extremely contradictory.

Thank you The Dark Side of Gaming for providing us with this information.

Seasonic Release ECO 430W Power Supply

Taiwan-based power supply manufacturer Seasonic has just announced their launch of two new skews – set to be on sale in mainland China in the coming weeks.

Their first announced product is the ECO430, being given a 80PLUS 230VEU certification, this PSU is marketed at those who are looking to save a little extra on their power bills. For those who are unaware, an 80PLUS Bronze rating means that the power supply efficiency rate is that of 85% or above – signifying that at least 85% of the power that is drawn in through the wall socket can be distributed throughout your PC components.

This unit comes with your standard 120mm FBD bearing fan alongside Rhine temperature control technology. By looking at the images provided, it doesn’t look like this model is modular (news sources were unable to confirm) – but modular capabilities is something that we don’t often see in a budget-level power supply. The ECO430 does however feature a flat 24-pin Motherboard cable to help a little with your cable management capabilities.

The announced release price for this product is 399 yuan ($65 US), which see’s it competing with budget ‘eco’ offerings including Thermaltake’s TR2, FSP’s 400w, The Corsair CX500 and Antec’s Neo.

There is no set plan of release in the Western world as of yet – we will report if the story develops. Looking at the links provided above, will this Seasonic unit be worth the extra $10 US for a 430w offering when compared to the Corsair CX500 which comes in at $55 US?

 

Images courtesy of Chiphell

Western Digital Release System Update for My Cloud EX4 NAS

When I took a look at Western Digital’s My Cloud EX4 NAS a few months back I found the system to be a strong contender in the SOHO and SMB markets, offering up not only the ability to access your data from anywhere on the globe with the confidence that it is not being scanned by any third parties, but also the security of redundant storage. Whilst the EX4 has heaps of features on offer, the local network performance that was experienced left the EX4 a little behind other 4-bay systems in the same market segment.

Since our review on the EX4, Western Digital have been continuing to improve the My Cloud range and for the EX4 this has meant a major firmware update. Granted this is not something that I would normally cover in a news article, but for the EX4, WD state that the performance increase that is on offer from the update is quite considerable, bringing the system up and in line with the systems that previously left it standing behind. In addition to the read and write performance experienced over the network, the update also pays attention to the reliability of network connections, correcting the issue where some users were observing dropped connections when working remotely, better sustained file transfer rates, faster backups, faster build and recovery times of the systems RAID array(s) and finally improved CPU utilisation to improve the overall speed of the admin panel.

The firmware update is being rolled out to EX4 systems with a flag that a the new firmware revision is available for download, or alternatively users can download the latest firmware directly from WD at http://support.wd.com/product/download.asp?groupid=905&lang=en.

Source: Press Release

 

Western Digital EX2 2-Bay 8TB My Cloud NAS Review

Introduction


Since the launch of Western Digital’s single bay My Cloud NAS and its bigger brother the four by EX4 is we have seen a strong movement over to cloud-based storage and thought of doing so less daunting. The latest addition to my cloud family comes in the form of a 2-bay system, offering both the benefit of a multi drive setup with the option for data redundancy along with a simple clean design and a small desktop footprint.

Like the other two systems in the cloud family EX2 is optimised from Western Digital’s own red NAS drives and the particulars system that we have today to look at comprises of two 4TB drives giving us a total of 8 TB of storage in RAID0 mode, although out-of-the-box system is configured in RAID1 leaving 4 TB of space to work with. Like the EX for the EX two comes in a number of different capacities including 4, 6 and 8TB models, along with a disk-less option for those who want the flexibility to install their own drives.

At the heart of the EX2 we are given a Marvell Armada 370 single core 1.2 GHz processor, along with 512 MB DDR3 memory, two SATA 6Gbps interfaces, a single Gigabit Ethernet port and two USB three ports. On the software management side we are given the same interface as seen on the my cloud and the EX four along with the same mobile application as previously seen.

with the EX two following in the footsteps of the older MyBook Live in respect to its design, it is suitable for both the consumer and prosumer environment giving the functionality to access our files on the go along with data redundancy, which for some of us is more critical these days and prices starting at around £160 or $190 US.

Inside the blue box which we have come to associate with Western Digital’s My Cloud products and alongside the NAS, we have a single Ethernet cable, DC power adapter with UK and EU tips (regional) and a few bits paperwork with warranty and quick setup information.

Western Digital’s Cloud Services Still Facing Major Disruption

Since March 26th customers who own any of Western Digital’s Cloud storage based products have been facing crippling connectivity issues after a vulnerability in the service was exposed, resulting in the downtime of connections to and from the WD2Go servers and consequently the loss of connectivity by users to their Cloud storage products that are installed in their homes and offices.

We are nearing two weeks since the service was interrupted and in most case lost completely, after an unknown vulnerability in the way that the service operates was exposed and since then engineers have been frantically working away to discover and repair the problem and restore service to thousands of users world-wide. Unlike Cloud services such as Dropbox and Google Drive, Western Digital’s Cloud storage products such as the MyCloud, EX2, EX4 and MyBook World Live offer customers the ability to have all of their shared files stored within the confines of the home or office, whilst offering up greater storage capacities and the peace of mind that data is not being accessed or scanned by any third-party applications or sources.

A recent letter from WD President Jim Murphy stated “We understand how important your content is to you, your business and your family. Our customers are the reason we strive each day to make better products and services that enable you to enjoy this content. Your entire digital life must be safely stored and readily accessible, and is what makes the WD personal cloud, personal. While your data has remained safe and accessible in your home or office, the service disruption may have temporarily prevented some of you from remotely accessing that content. We’ve dedicated the past week to restoring your remote access as quickly as possible.”

Whilst this indicates to us that normal service is being restored to customers on a day-to-day basis, it doesn’t mention what the vulnerability is and how it was discovered. Mr Murphy’s letter went on to say “All of us at WD are committed to minimizing downtime and ensuring the service information we provide is valuable and frequent. We already have implemented important changes to our infrastructure and network capability. While we have validated the vast majority of your remote connections, we continue our focus on providing uninterrupted access from your phone, tablet or computer. Your content deserves nothing less.”

Unfortunately this information nor any official word from WD through the support pages appears to be easy to find, leaving the support channels inundated with requests from users for help and updates on the loss of connectivity to their systems. Although this looks to be a flaw in the network security at the service data centre, data stored on users devices is not at risk and if you feel concerned you can simply turn off your storage until we have confirmation that the service has been fully restored.

Considering I’ve got one of the latest My Cloud systems – the EX2 – currently in for review, I will be keeping an eye on the service status and will keep you all updated accordingly with news that comes to light. What is certain though is that this loss of connectivity will reflect the sales of and reputation of WD’s Cloud systems so they are working against the clock to restore the service and protect themselves from a financial hit.

Source: Press Release

Western Digital Black² Dual Drive 120GB SSD & 1TB HDD Review

Introduction


Solid state storage as we know it today is certainly the way forward and this is proven by the fact that it is the storage medium of choice for any enthusiast or performance user. Whilst the speeds are fantastic, there is still a slight cause for concern to be seen when it comes to the amount of storage that these pioneering drives have to offer. Whilst flash storage is considerably cheaper than it was a few years ago, a typical 240GB SSD will set you back around £160-180 (~$260-295 US) and if you want to go any higher than this with a 480GB or even a 960GB drive then you really are starting to look at some serious money. On the flip side, the price of traditional mechanical storage is more affordable than ever and with 4TB drives available for as little as ~£133 (~$216 US) it really is a case of prioritising what is the greater need – is it going to be performance or capacity?

In a desktop system, this dilemma is typically not a problem, as the space is available to accommodate both solid state and mechanical drives and this is what we see many users opting for in the market today. When we move over to notebooks and ultra books however, the story couldn’t be any more different. Speaking for the vast majority of laptops that are out on the market today, storage is very limited and typically we find space for just one 2.5″ drive and no more. For a number of people, this is not really a real issue, as there is of course external hard drives and flash drives that can be used to extend your storage capacity, but when we look at it, this is not necessarily a practical option – especially for those of us who are on the go all the time. One option would be to remove the optical drive and install a 2.5″ drive adaptor in its place and this is good, but not every laptop has an optical drive, so this leads us back round to square one – do you choose performance or capacity?

One option that is available to you is to get a hybrid drive that offers up hard drive capacity but with the read performance of flash storage. The catch is that this isn’t really what we would call a proper solid state and hard drive combo as the flash portion of the drive is there purely to cache the commonly used data, making it quicker to access whilst the remainder of the data is still held on the spinning platters. What we really want is to have a drive that is effectively two in one and that is just what Western Digital have to offer with the Black² Dual Drive – to separate storage mediums, but in one single 2.5″ form factor – what we once thought to be a dream is now a strong reality.

Western Digital My Cloud 2TB Review

Introduction


Over the last few years, the concept of cloud storage has been growing rapidly around the globe. As you may imagine, there are a large number of applications for cloud storage, be it for a small set of personal files that are kept on the likes of Dropbox or Google Drive; to the hosting of entire websites on cloud servers, but there is one area where many users see a flaw in this concept – security. Before I get on to the reason why some people are put off the cloud, its worth noting that it has a huge number of advantages. Firstly, when we start at the smaller scale options and look at the likes of Dropbox and Google Drive, there is the obvious advantage that you can access your files wherever you are with ease. I personally use both Dropbox and Google Drive for on the go storage and with the added factor of being able to access both services from my Nexus 4 smart phone, I’ve not go to worry constantly about having to copy files to a flash drive so that I can access them at home. With the cloud, as soon as I save them in the respective online folders, they are almost instantly available at home.

Looking at more of a larger scale, there is cloud web-hosting. Now obviously the internet is online, but for the most part, the website that you are accessing, such as us at eTeknix for example, is stored on a single server in a single data centre. Whilst there is a certain element of redundancy with the likes of RAID10 drives setups in place and of course backups are taken care of, what happens when the data centres link is lost to the outside world? It’s quite simple, the site goes down. Downtime for us is something that we dread and cloud web-hosting is built to solve this conundrum. With cloud hosting, a website is stored on a number of different servers that are located in different data centres – the result of this is near 100% uptime.

Bringing all this back down to earth and to the home, I will now refer back to the [above mentioned] worry that many people have when it comes to cloud file storage such as Dropbox and Google Drive – Security. When you upload a file to the cloud, how can you be sure that someone else has not had access to your data? After all you are not able to pinpoint exactly where your files are being stored at any given point. This whole worry over security and knowing where your files are being stored is what has driven Western Digital to come up with a simple, affordable solution. Bring forward the My Cloud.

The My Cloud comes with a very concise set of accessories, there is simply a quick setup guide, Ethernet cable and a power adaptor with UK an EU tips – no bits of unnecessary paperwork to be found here.

Western Digital Extend My Cloud Lineup With EX4 4-Bay Solution

Western Digital have been hot topic within the storage world since the release of their innovative personal cloud storage drives. In a follow-up to the single drive offerings that are aimed primarily for the consumer market, Western Digital have now upped their game with a 4-bay NAS that gives all the Cloud capabilities of the single bay unit, but with some added extras.

The EX4, for those who recognise it, is somewhat similar to the Sentinel DX4000 NAS that we looked at earlier in the year, however external appearances are where the similarities end. On the inside of the EX4, a Marvell 88F6282 2GHz single core CPU is in control with the system capable of holding up to 16TB of raw storage through RAID0, 1, 5, 10 and JBOD configurations as well as Western Digital’s own Flex-RAID allowing drives of different capacities to be installed and used together seamlessly.

Designed for the ‘Prosumer’, the EX4 is one of the worlds first 4-bay cloud NAS systems and whilst it offers up cloud capabilities, it still gives total flexibility to be used as a traditional local NAS device. On top of the standard My cloud features that are on offer on the single bay systems, the EX4 also includes 10 user licences for WD’s Smartware Pro software for automated computer backups as well as the ability to have a full system backup made to another remotely setup EX4, giving the total piece of mind that your data is secure. For SOHO and SMB users, Active Directory support is also included and an SDK for app developers is available from Western Digital’s website.

The EX4 is available now through a number of e-tailors and also the reseller channel with four options to choose from. The entry-level system will come with no drives giving the best user flexibility for £319, whilst 8TB, 12TB and 16TB models all kitted out with WD’s own Red drives are available for £670, £799 and £999 respectively.

Whilst this is the only multi-bay cloud solution that Western Digital are offering for now, they have noted that a 2-bay version – namely the EX2 will be available in the early part of next year.

Source: Press Event

Western Digital 2.5″ Red 1TB NAS HDD Review

Introduction


Launched just over a year ago, Western Digital’s Red line of drives, along with an easier to understand product line-up (Greed, Blue, Black and so on) have changed the way that many consumers look at their storage. The Red drives are built primarily for a NAS (Network Attached Storage) environment, but they are also suited for SOHO users who want drives that will deliver enterprise class performance but without the hefty price tag that the higher class of drive tends to come with.

With network storage becoming more of a common entity outside of the enterprise sector, for example in homes and offices, the Red line of drive have delivered enterprise class features and reliability with their three-year warranty for users with one to five bay NAS systems as typically seen in the SOHO and SMB sector where these drives are targeted.

As the density of storage has gone up we’ve seen the Red drives reach up to a whopping 4TB in a 3.5″ format, but with users wanting more compact systems, WD had to think ahead of the game and this leads us to the 2.5″ versions that we now also have on offer today. Offering up either 750GB or 1TB of storage each, the 2.5″ drives run with a, Intellipower spindle speed of 5400RPM and with 16MB of cache on a SATA 6Gbps interface, they are rated to handle a workload of 120-150TB of data per year, which for the most part is well over the data throughput that most small businesses will ever put their drives through.

Western Digital Announce New Product Line – My Cloud

Cloud storage for a number of people is a precarious storage solution as the worries about other people potentially having access to their data is something that lingers over the public cloud storage market. Many people are familiar with current online cloud storage options such as Dropbox (of which I’m a user myself), iCloud which all iOS devices have access to, and Google Drive amongst others.

The problem with all these options however is the fact that you can’t yourself pinpoint exactly where your data is stored and all of these providers will tend to scan your content for viruses etc, meaning that its not going to be up there without it being viewed in some way or another.

Being able to have you data stored at home and then shared out to the internet in your own personal cloud is a solution that for many users has not been possible for a long while. True if you had the knowledge, you could share a drive on to the internet, presuming you had a router that supported that feature such as Netgear’s R6300 and you know what your IP  address was at all times, but this is not the most secure nor the easiest of options either.

This is now where Western Digital have stepped up to the mark to create a drive that simply plugs into the existing home network and with the use of a mobile app or desktop management program, is able to share file, securely through 128-bit AES encryption, to anywhere in the world. Bring forward the ‘My Cloud’.

Built around a dual core ARM A9 CPU and paired with 256MB or DDR3 memory, the small system that is no bigger than their current products such as the MyBook Elite, comes in a range of capacities ranging from 2TB up to 4TB. On top of this the My Cloud also features a USB3.0 port for expansion by connecting another storage drive that will show up as a separate shared folder on the system, or which can be used to create a backup of the entire system in the form of ‘Safepoints’.

The My Cloud can be accessed either on the local network via a desktop management app or can be remotely connected to from anywhere in the world via the mobile app or web based user interface. Sharing files to friends and family is also very simple, files are given a unique URL, and this can be sent to a third party so that they can get access to that file only. Access to sync the drive with other cloud solutions such as Dropbox is also made simple with seamless integration through the mobile app. The mobile app will also be fully backwards compatible with the current line of My Book Live devices and users will notice that the WD-to-Go app will be updated to the new My Cloud app through their relevant app store

The My Cloud, priced at £129 for the 2TB model and £159 for the 3TB model (4TB model due later in the year in November is awaiting UK pricing) will be available from today through a number of online e-tailors such as Dixons online. This makes the price for storage far cheaper than online cloud options which charge a yearly fee in some cases only provide a fraction of the storage capacity for a higher cost.

Source – WD Press event

Western Digital Sentinel DX4000 16TB RAID5 4-Bay NAS Review

Up to now we’ve been looking at network storage servers that come with no drives and are produced by a company other than a drive manufacturer. Western Digital are one of the best hard drive manufacturers our there in the market and their recent changes to their product line-up has not only made choosing the right drive for the job easier, but also a lot clearer. When it comes to network storage, WD has three types of drive that are geared for the job, Red, SE and RE. Red drives are still aimed for the home/SOHO user, whilst their enterprise SE and RE drives are optimised for the constant punishment that they will encounter 24×7.

Setting drives aside, WD has now come out with their own NAS solution, optimised for their own drives, in an all-in-one easy to use solution and so we get the Sentinel DX4000. The Sentinel is a first in a line of self designed NAS solutions that can be purchased with drives pre-installed in a variety of capacities, varying from a modest 2TB, right up to a whopping 16TB. Unlike other NAS solutions on the market, one of the main features that sets this system apart from the rest is the use of Windows Storage Server 2008 and a auto configuration process during the initial set-up that automatically builds the drives into a RAID5 array – the preferred choice for NAS solutions as this gives the best data security and will ensure no data is lost, should one drive fail during operation.

With this unit designed specifically for the SMB environment the use of WSS 2008 should allow for seamless integration through active directory and domain configuration and also for those that are at home with Windows, should make maintaining the system a bit more intuitive. With RAID automatically configured based on the number of drives installed, set-up should be easier as mentioned and knowing how well trusted and reliable Western Digital’s drives are in the NAS markets with multiple lines of drives targeted at this environment, there is good hope that the system has a lot to give.

All NAS’ come with a selection of cables to get you connected and running, this one being no exception. Alongside the user manual, the first thing we note are the two external power inverters, which as we will see on the next page, aid towards a more compact build of the main unit itself. Do note that on all other SKUs apart from the 16TB option, the DX4000 will only come with a single power adaptor, but as a top of the line model, the 16TB option includes both adaptors to allow for redundant power supply feeds. Also included are two sets of power cables for the UK and European markets and a single CAT5e cable. There is also a visible lack of screws that we traditionally see, but this is due to the tool free installation that the DX4000 adopts.

Western Digital My Passport Enterprise 500GB USB3.0 External Hard Drive Review

All portable hard drives on the market are in essence the same in generally speaking there is very little that sets each one apart, after all they take your files from one place to another. But waht if you wanted your portable hard drive to give just a little bit more? How about taking not just your files, but your entire desktop with you so that you can plug it into any computer, boot it up and then work in your very own workspace? Well it turns out this option is very much a reality and users of Windows 8 Enterprise have this option at their finger tips but this does mean that they need to have a Windows To Go compatible drive.

Windows To Go is a little picky on what drives it can be installed to and thus in order to use this feature, you need to find a certified product. The vast majority of the certified products however are flash based, but whilst this is great for speed, space is compromised. This is where Western Digital step in with the world’s only Windows To Go certified portable USB3.0 hard drive. Granted the drive is not going to offer to blazing speed that flash can, but it does repay the user with considerably more space to play with out of the box.