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Updated: 5 years 8 weeks ago

NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience Now In Open Beta

Thu, 01/24/2013 - 22:57

By utilizing NVIDIA’s cloud platform, GeForce Experience will automatically customize games to deliver an optimal experience. 

GeForce Experience provides a unique perspective for gamers who want to get the best out of their systems with a minimum amount of input.  Through the use of an advanced cloud-based optimization platform, it quickly analyzes your system’s specifications and modifies in-game settings for the best possible framerates.

In order to accomplish its goals, GeForce Experience relies on a broad database of hardware combinations and related benchmarks for today’s latest games.  Customized profiles are created and then uploaded to the user’s computer.

This is all in an effort to eliminate guesswork and as additional users submit feedback, the system will gradually evolve and improve.  It is actually being used as an integral part of NVIDIA’s Android-based Project Shield and should allow for a seamless integration of Shield into the GeForce ecosystem.

Up until now, GeForce Experience was in a closed beta but it still garnered about 40,000 users.  With support for 41 games and numerous bugs fixed, NVIDIA has moved out of the beta stage into a more public spectrum with open access for anyone who’s interested.  Just remember this software is still in its Beta phase but from our initial testing, GFE is stable, intuitive and it has plenty of potential

GeForce Experience can be downloaded HERE.

Categories: Computer News

Fractal Launches the Arc Midi R2 Case

Thu, 01/24/2013 - 21:30

Fractal’s new Arc Mini R2 is a compact ATX case may offer neutral looks but it is packed with features and has a relatively low price. 

With new mid tower cases being announced nearly every week, it’s easy for certain products to get lost in the shuffle.  Fractal has neatly avoided this by launching an enclosure which has nearly everything an enthusiast could possibly want, yet packed into a compact, sleek design.

At its heart, the Arc Midi R2 is simply an ATX-sized case with additional support for micro ATX and mini ATX motherboards as well.  The external design is straightforward without any embellishments and Fractal has included all of the usual items:  a side window, USB 3.0 ports and easily removable fan filters.

The Arc Midi R2’s main claim to fame is its attention to internal airflow paths.  Three 140mm Silent Series R2 fans have been included (in the front, rear and top mounts) alongside an integrated 3-channel fan controller and enough space for two 240mm and two 120mm water cooling radiators.

In order to achieve such impressive cooling options, Fractal has taken a unique approach to the hard drive cages.  Not only can they hold up to eight drives (alongside two secondary SSD mounts behind the motherboard tray) but their 5+3 layout allows for alternate mounting positions which clustered around the Arc’s interior.  This makes room for the above-mentioned radiator options and clears space for massive graphics cards.

According to Fractal, special attention has also been placed upon cable routing and CPU cooler compatibility.  There are cable grommets placed at strategic locations around the motherboard and power supply while space for 180mm tall CPU coolers has been built in.

Pricing for the Arc Midi R2 will be $110 USD and it will be released in March.

Categories: Computer News

Lenovo May be Considering a RIM Takeover

Thu, 01/24/2013 - 14:52

Lenovo may be considering a bid for Research in Motion, according to Lenovo’s Chief Financial Officer.

“We are looking at all opportunities — RIM and many others,” Chief Financial Officer Wong Wai Ming said to Bloomberg. “We’ll have no hesitation if the right opportunity comes along that could benefit us and shareholders.”

Mr. Wong said to Bloomberg that in the light of a shrinking P.C market, Lenovo is considering strategic acquisitions to insulate its business.

RIM had no comment on the matter.

“We have no update on our strategic review at this time,” said Nick Manning, a spokesman for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company.

These comments by Lenovo’s CFO — which enjoys a close relationship with the Chinese government — comes days after the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a policy urging companies to aggressively explore overseas mergers and alliances.

The ministry’s dictum says China should  have five to eight I.T companies with sales of at least 100 billion yuan ($16 billion USD) by 2015.

It is unclear if a foreign takeover of RIM would trigger a review under the Investment Canada Act.

Last year, when speculation that RIM would be purchased by either Microsoft or Samsung, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said to the press that RIM was an “important Canadian company,” leading to speculation that the government may block a foreign takeover.

Terry Beech, an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Business, and CEO of HiretheWorld.com, told Hardware Canucks at the time RIM couldn’t be considered a strategic asset to Canada in the same fashion as PotashCorp.

“The value of RIM is highly intellectual, which means you’re only really as good as the quality of your patents and the quality of your people,”  Mr. Beech told Hardware Canucks. “RIM stock is falling for a reason, and there isn’t much the government will be able to do about it.”

“This kind of government interference in the market could actually hurt Canada’s tech sector overall given the uncertainty it would raise in the international business community,” said Mr. Beech.

Shares of RIM are up 4 percent on the TSX upon speculation on a Lenovo takeover.

Categories: Computer News

There is no X-Surface, Tech Websites Duped

Thu, 01/24/2013 - 13:31

For anyone in the media, inside sources can be a godsend — a person willing to risk their employment to share information, or expose corruption is what usually brings the best stories to the press.

Most of the time these sources will stay anonymous, communicating through throwaway email accounts or other untraceable means.  This actually happens quite often, be it through a disgruntled ex employee, a supplier or just someone who likes to spill the beans.  Certain leaks will even offer their information for cash incentives.

In order to build trust to see their story make the press, these inside sources will offer the journalist something to verify, but not give away, their identity.

In the cutthroat world of tech blogging — where websites are in a perpetual race to have the first article out for the sake of pageviews — the luxury of trying to verify sources and rumours sometimes isn’t there.  First to press about a potentially large, developing story can result in a hefty upswing in pageviews and a resulting bonanza in ad revenue.

Thus, the danger of the tech blogging ecosystem being hoodwinked by someone masquerading as a source is clear and present.

Cue the story of the X-Surface, a widely reported portable component for Microsoft’s XBox 360 successor.

Considering the market trends, a rumour about a next-generation console from Microsoft with an emphasis on portability seems entirely plausible — tablets are stealing the casual gaming market, and without a doubt NVIDIA’s Project Shield is sure to be a disruptive force in the sector.

Except, there isn’t an X-Surface.  There never was.

The X-Surface was an elaborate hoax conducted by a bored blogger to see how quickly an unverified rumour would make its way through the tech blogging ecosystem. His social experiment quickly became an example of how fact-checking has become an afterthought in today’s media-crazy world.

The anonymous blogger describes his plan:

At 1:41am GMT today I sent out an email to a bunch of gaming sites claiming to be a Microsoft employee working on the new Xbox.

I made up every single word of it along with a couple of specs copied from other rumours that have been appearing on the Internet.

This was a bit of an experiment to see just how easy it is to get a fake story taken seriously. And it is shockingly easy in the games industry.

Much to his horror/amusement, his story about the X-Surface spread like wildfire throughout the blogosphere. Pocket Lint ran it first, claiming that they had made attempts to verify the claims, and it was quickly picked up by dozens of websites including some of the more ‘respectable’ enterprises like CNET, Gizmodo, and Yahoo.

When it was revealed that the story was fake, many of these websites quickly issued corrections. Some just spiked the story, trying to revise history to make it look as if it never happened.

Others, apparently, angrily responded to the faux tipster, perhaps redfaced that they had been had.

What’s the takeaway from this? While it’s tempting to have that ‘first post’, the role of the press — of which the blogosphere is included —is to be an industry watchdog and not just a self serving beast hungry for pageviews.

Categories: Computer News

Intel DC S3700 200GB & 800GB, Enterprise SSD Review

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 22:30

Intel’s DC S3700 series is the pinnacle of modern datacenter SSD design.  It incorporates  advanced data protection features, an adaptable design, great performance and a surprisingly affordable pricing structure.  This is also the first look we’re getting at Intel’s third generation X25 controller.

Categories: Computer News

Antec One Case Review

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 22:37

Antec’s One may only cost $60 but it boasts a great feature set, plenty of fan options and the exterior design isn’t particularly offensive like some competing cases.  However, with Corsair’s 200R and several other cases breathing down their necks, Antec has a lot to prove with this one.

Categories: Computer News

EVGA Launches Free Game Bundle w/ Primal Carnage

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 21:55

EVGA adds Primal Carnage to the purchase of any GTX 690, GTX 680 or GTX 670 graphics card. 

With NVIDIA’s previous offer coming to an end, EVGA is stepping up to the plate by offering a free downloadable copy of Primal Carnage with their GTX 690, GTX 680 and GTX 670 products.  While Primal Carnage may not carry the prestige of the Borderlands 2 + Assassin’s Creed III holiday season bundle, it should provide some online PvP fun for casual gamers and enthusiasts alike.  For those wondering, Primal Carnage goes for $15 on Steam.

According to EVGA, you’ll need to upload your receipt (dated January 21st and later) to their website in order to take advantage of this promotion.

More information can be found on EVGA’s website HERE.

Categories: Computer News

Func Industries Introduces MS-3 Gaming Mouse

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 21:33

After 18 months of development, Func has entered the gaming mouse market with a sleek, ergonomic mouse called the MS-3. 

You have to respect companies like Func which lay low, ensuring their products meet the needs of consumers instead of flooding the market with junk designs.  Their MS-3 may not look like the flashy gaming mice from the likes of Thermaltake, Cooler Master and Gigabyte but it is supposed to offer gamers a straightforward yet high quality peripheral.  After years of producing high quality gaming surfaces, Func decided now was the time to release a companion for their mouse pads.

With 10 well integrated programmable buttons, a black rubber coating for enhanced grip, a braided cord (with a few touches of orange for good measure) and sweeping visual lines, the MS-3’s design is almost stealth-like in nature.  It certainly doesn’t make a statement but Func’s focus here was long term comfort rather than making their presence known.  For those who want some LEDs, a few have been integrated into discrete locations.

The MS-3 is equipped with an Avago 9500 laser sensor which features programmable DPI settings, an adjustable report rate and lift-off distance settings that can be controlled by the user.  Func has also included onboard memory which can store up to three profiles and recorded macro commands.

One of the MS-3’s more unique features is its keys which have integrated mechanical switches for optimal feedback response.

According to Func, the MS-3 will go on sale in February for a price of $79.95.

Categories: Computer News

Intel Announces Gradual Discontinuation of Desktop Motherboards

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 20:02

In an announcement that will likely come as a shock for some, Intel has announced they will be ramping down their desktop motherboard business over the next three years.

In another sign that the desktop market as we know it is facing obsolescence, just minutes ago, Intel announced they will gradually cease production of their self-branded desktop boards.  While the entire process of reallocating the resources from this division will take some time (up to three years supposedly), don’t expect to see Intel desktop boards around for all that much longer.  In fact, the release of Haswell this year will actually mark the final generation of new Intel motherboards.

This is sad news indeed for anyone who appreciated the stability and warranty support behind Intel’s Extreme series and lesser products.  Especially after 20 years of producing top-tier products.  However, this certainly isn’t doomsday for the desktop form factor.  Intel expects the likes of ASUS, Gigabyte, EVGA, MSI and others to continue carrying the ATX torch well into future so options will still be plentiful.

Support for existing and upcoming boards will continue well into the future and warranties will remain completely intact.

While the days of legendary Intel-branded motherboards are numbered, this could also mark the beginning of a different platform’s renaissance as additional focus is put upon the Next Unit of Computing and other projects.  It should be interesting to see what else Intel has up their sleeves.

Intel’s full release is below.

Intel’s Desktop Motherboard Business will begin slowly ramping down over the course of the next three years. As Intel gradually ramps down its motherboard business we are ramping up critical areas of the desktop space including integration of innovative solutions for the PC ecosystem such as reference design development, NUC and other areas to be discussed later.   The internal talent and experience of twenty years in the boards business (which until recently has been largely focused on desktop tower type designs) is being redistributed to address emerging new form factors — desktop and mobile – and to expand Intel’s Form Factor Reference Design (FFRD) work and enable our partners to develop exciting new computing solutions.   The Desktop segment continues to be a major focus for Intel with hundreds of products across many subsegments and applications. Intel expects the broad and capable DT motherboard ecosystem (ie Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and many others) to fully support Intel’s growing roadmap and large worldwide customer base. Intel’s Desktop Motherboard Business will not develop any new Intel branded desktop motherboards after completion of Haswell-based 4th gen Core launch products in 2013 and will continue to support all products sold through the warranty period included with the specific product.
Categories: Computer News

Next-Generation Xbox Specs Apparently Leaked Online

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 14:29

The reported specs of Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox console have leaked online.

VGLeaks, who has previously had a semi-accurate track record with leaks claims to have obtained a block diagram the system specs of Durango — the current code name for the new console.

According to the leaked specs, Durango will be powered by an eight-core x64 chip with each core clocked at 1.6GHz.

Further, the console is said to have 8GB of RAM, a 12 core GPU clocked at 800 Mhz, Blu Ray support, a hard drive, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi (with support for Wi-Fi direct).

Categories: Computer News

HIS HD 7970 IceQ X² & HD 7950 IceQ X² Review

Mon, 01/21/2013 - 23:25

HIS’s IceQ X² heatsink design is billed as one of the best around and it has now been paired up with AMD’s HD 7970 GHz Edition and HD 7950 Boost.  They’ve done this without adding a huge premium onto these cards which results in an excellent price / performance ratio, particularly when overclocking is involved.

Categories: Computer News