Maximum PC latest stories, 28 Jul 2015 20:08:53 +0000yesNewegg Daily Deals: Seagate Hybrid Drive 1TB SSHD, BenQ 24-Inch Monitor, and More! when you had hair? And sanity? That's before you pulled it all out and lost your sanity trying to decide between the sweet performance of a solid state drive or the capacity and price-per-gigabyte of a mechanical hard drive.Tue, 28 Jul 2015 20:08:53 +0000 dealsNeweggNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Seagate SSHD"></p><p><strong>Top Deal:</strong></p><p>Remember when you had hair? And sanity? That's before you pulled it all out and lost your sanity trying to decide between the sweet performance of a solid state drive or the capacity and price-per-gigabyte of a mechanical hard drive. Tough decision, but if you can only choose one, why not choose both? Say what!? There's a possible solution in today's top deal for a <a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-INT-HDD-N82E16822178381-_-0728&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">1TB Seagate Solid State Hybrid Drive</a> for <strong>$65</strong> with free shipping (normally $80 - use coupon code: [<strong>ESCAVNW25</strong>]). It has 8GB of NAND flash memory to store frequently used data for fast access, and 1TB of HDD space for storing other bits. Oh, and there's also 64MB of cache, a SATA 6Gbps interface, and 3-year warranty. Granted, it's not as fast as a dedicated SSD, but it's faster than an HDD and cheaper than SSD.</p><p><strong>Other Deals:</strong></p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-SSD-N82E16820171999-_-0728&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">SanDisk Extreme Pro 2.5-inch 480GB SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)</a> for <strong>$190</strong> with free shipping (normally $200 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNW22</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-MEMORY-N82E16820231568-_-0728&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">G. Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory</a> for <strong>$82</strong> with free shipping (normally $92 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNW24</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-GPU-N82E16814121927-_-0728&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Asus GeForce GTX 960 2GB Video Card</a> for <strong>$190</strong> with free shipping (normally $200 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNW94</strong>]; additional $10 Mail-in rebate)</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-DISPLAY-N82E16824014377-_-0728&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">BenQ GL2460HM 24-inch TN Panel Monitor w/ Built-in Speakers</a> for <strong>$130</strong> with free shipping (normally $150 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNW38</strong>])</p> Mionix Announces Castor Gaming Mouse for All Grip Styles new Castor mouse from Mionix has dedicated ring and pinkie finger grooves.Tue, 28 Jul 2015 19:46:23 +0000 <h3>Get a grip!</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Mionix Castor"></p><p> There's a new mouse that's about to be let out in the wild -- the Castor by Mionix. By who, you say?</p><p> You get a pass if you haven't heard of Mionix. It's a Swedish company that was co-founded by Peter Nygren in 2007, and while it doesn't have the same brand recognition as, say, Logitech or Razer, I'm a big fan of their mice. I currently use the company's Naos 7000 gaming mouse on a daily basis, and prior to that, I was using the weight-adjustable Naos 5000 until my dog, Lady Morgan, chewed up the cord (she was a puppy at the time).</p><p> The Castor is named after one of the brightest starts in the sky. More importantly, it sports six buttons, a 10,000 DPI that is supposedly the bees-knees, and a new lift-off- distance (LOD) calibration feature that combines the company's Surface Quality Analyzer Tool (S.Q.A.T.) to find the lowest possible LOD with optimized tracking.</p><p> Here's what <a href="" target="_blank">Mionix has to say</a> about that the Castor's sensor:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <em>The PMW-3310 gaming grade optical sensor has no positive or negative hardware acceleration, amazing accuracy, smooth tracking, and a maximum speed of more than 5.45m/sec (215 IPS), all the way up to 10000DPI. It is the choice of the world’s top pro-gamers and widely considered as the best gaming sensor currently available.</em></p><p> Like many gaming mice, left-handers are left out in the cold here. This one's built specifically for right-handed gamers, complete with ring and pinky-finger grooves to comfortably place all five digits on the rodent. Mionix also claims its ideal for all grip types -- fingertip, palm, and claw.</p><iframe src="" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" width="620"> </iframe><p> It has a four-layer rubber touch coating, which is one thing I really like about the other Mionix mice I've played with. It also features two customizable LEDs (up to 16.8 million colors) with various effects, three-step adjustable DPI, 32-bit ARM processor running at 32MHz, 128K built-in memory to store settings, large black PTFE mouse feet, and a gold plated USB connector at the end of a 2-meter long PVC cable.</p><p> The Castor will be available in September for $70 MSRP. You can <a href="" target="_blank">place your pre-order</a> now</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> White House Pshaws Petition to Pardon Edward Snowden ignoring a petition to pardon Edward Snowden, the White House finally issues a responseTue, 28 Jul 2015 18:47:58 +0000 snowdenNewsobama administrationSecuritywhite house <h3>No pardon for you!</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="White House"></p><p> The Obama administration is not going to pardon Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who went on the lam after disclosing thousands of classified documents to the media. That much was made clear by the White House's long awaited response to a <a href="" target="_blank">petition</a> seeking a "full, free, and absolute pardon" for Snowden, who it referred to as a "national hero."</p><p> After seeing a surge in petitions at the end of 2012, the Obama administration raised the required number of signatures from 25,000 to 100,000 for a petition to merit a response. The petition for Snowden's pardon reached that threshold in less than a month when it was posted in June of 2013, but went ignored by the White House for more than two years.</p><p> It's seen an increase in activity as of late, which is no doubt attributable to Snowden recently <a href="" target="_blank">voicing his desire</a> to come back home. The petition now stands at a little shy of 168,000 signatures.</p><p> In its <a href="" target="_blank">response to the petition</a>, the White House urged Snowden to come back to the United States and stand trial by jury, "not hide behind the cover of an authoritarian regime." The White House accused him of running away from the consequences of his actions.</p><p> "Instead of constructively addressing these issues, Mr. Snowden's dangerous decision to steal and disclose classified information had severe consequences for the security of our country and the people who work day in and day out to protect it," the White House wrote.</p><p> Snowden's illegal disclosures detailed the extent to which the US government and cooperating agencies spy on citizens. Some view Snowden's actions as courageous and heroic, as outlined in the petition for his pardon, while others view them as dangerous and treasonous.</p><p> While a full pardon appears to be off the table, there are reports that Snowden and his lawyer are in talks for him to return to the United States. Before he'd be willing to do that, Snowden wants assurances that he'd receive a "fair trial."</p><p> "Unfortunately, the Department of Justice is unwilling to agree," Snowden said, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>NPR</em></a>. "The only thing they have said at this point is that they would not execute me, which is not the same as a fair trial."</p><p> Snowden currently resides in Russia, where he has been granted asylum.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Intel and Micron Develop Crazy Fast Memory to Replace NAND 3D XPoint technology by Intel and Micron is said to be 1,000 times faster than NAND.Tue, 28 Jul 2015 16:52:45 +0000 <h3>New memory technology runs circles around NAND</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="3D XPoint"></p><p> Few would argue against the notion that today's high performance solid state drives are blazing fast, especially compared to mechanical hard disk drives, but imagine what tomorrow's SSDs will be like. Before you do that, take into consideration that Intel and Micron just unveiled a new non-volatile memory technology that they claim is 1,000 times faster than NAND flash memory. Yes, 1,000 times! We'll give you a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor and clean the coffee off your monitor.</p><p> This isn't a theoretical technology, either. Called 3D XPoint, wafers based on the memory breakthrough are now in production.</p><p> "For decades, the industry has searched for ways to reduce the lag time between the processor and data to allow much faster analysis," <a href="" target="_blank">said Rob Crooke</a>, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group. "This new class of non-volatile memory achieves this goal and brings game-changing performance to memory and storage solutions."</p><p> The underlying architecture in 3D XPoint&nbsp;contains no transistors. Instead, perpendicular conductors connect 128 billion densely packed memory cells that are stacked in layers in a three-dimensional checkerboard pattern. Each memory cell stores a single bit of data. It looks like this:</p><iframe src="" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" width="620"> </iframe><p> This allows data to be written and read in small sizes, which in turn leads to faster and more efficient read and write processes. And in addition to being 1,000 times faster than NAND flash memory, 3D XPoint also has up to 1,000 times the endurance of NAND, according to Intel and Micron.</p><p> It's fun to think of what this could mean for the future of SSDs, though home computing isn't the only area Intel and Micron have in mind.</p><p> "Retailers may use 3D XPoint technology to more quickly identify fraud detection patterns in financial transactions; healthcare researchers could process and analyze larger data sets in real time, accelerating complex tasks such as genetic analysis and disease tracking," Intel and Micron point out.</p><p> At present, 3D XPoint can store 128Gb per die across two stacked memory layers. As the technology matures, future generations will be increase the number of layers and be able to use traditional lithographic pitch scaling to increase die capacity.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Everything We Know About Windows 10 We've updated the story to include more info on Microsoft's PC gaming initiative and talked more about the tweaks to Windows 10.Tue, 28 Jul 2015 16:00:00 +0000 systemOSwindows 10 Free, Surface Hub, Cortana, and HoloLens<br /> <br /> UPDATE: We've updated the story to include more info on Microsoft's PC gaming initiative and talked more about the tweaks to Windows 10.<br /> <br /> Microsoft held a Windows 10 press conference today and revealed a massive amount of details from the upcoming OS<br /> <br /> and much more. After many rumors, Microsoft confirmed that Windows 10 will be free to Windows 8.1, Windows&nbsp;7 (SP1)&nbsp;and Windows Phone users...for the first year. The company views it as an incentive for users to quickly jump on board to the Windows 10 platform. Microsoft believes this will solve one of its biggest OS issues for developers, and that is OS fragmentation. Beyond the initial year, however, customers will be&nbsp;paying $119.99 for the Home Edition, $199.99 for the Pro Edition and $99.99 to upgrade from Home to Pro.Cortana<br /> Another rumor that Microsoft confirmed is that Windows 10 will include Cortana, which the company is pitching as the platform's personal digital assistant. In short, Cortana is based off the character from the Halo games and is Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Siri. With Cortana, Microsoft is saying "she" is really tailored for the PC experience and you will be able to use voice commands to search for locally stored files or files on your One Drive account. These file types will include documents, pictures, music, and more.In the live demo that Microsoft gave on stage, Cortana was able to provide information on the weather, flight information, and more. What’s quite impressive about Cortana is that her voice sounds extremely realistic, much more so than either Apple’s or Google’s equivalents. Microsoft is also saying that Cortana will be able to get smarter and learn about you. For instance, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore asked her what she thinks the Super Bowl score will be. Knowing that Joe is from Seattle, she jokingly said that the Seattle Seahawks would win in dominating fashion. If you’re a little creeped out by this, you’ll be able to clear some of her history about you. She will also be able to tell you more about any particular web page you’re browsing and you’ll be able to right-click on words to get definitions and more.<br /> For our hands-on with Cortana by way of the&nbsp;Windows 10 Technical Preview,&nbsp;check out our feature right here.Microsoft Edge<br /> To go along with Cortana, Microsoft is also creating a new browser. Codenamed Project Spartan, Microsoft's new browser will use a new rendering engine and will support note taking with either a stylus, a mouse's on-screen&nbsp;cursor or a person's finger. Project Spartan will also let you click on words/phrases and leave comments. You'll then be able to share pages with your comments on them on the various social media outlets. Project Spartan will also enable saving web pages to view offline, much like the Get Pocket app.<br /> Since the presentation, we've learned that Project Spartan is actually&nbsp;called Microsoft Edge, a browser that will be on the cutting edge of the latest web technologies. In&nbsp;brief, Edge does have "Make a Web Note," which allows users to draw and type on any web page. There's also a Reading View mode that temporarily eliminates all the flashy stuff so that users can focus on the text.We take Microsoft Edge for a spin, which&nbsp;can be read right here.Gaming<br /> Microsoft wants to push gaming with Windows 10. "We will treat gaming on Windows 10 with as much passion as on Xbox One," said Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft's Xbox division. In addition to supporting DirectX 12, which the company vaguely stated will run up to 50 percent faster than DX11 equivalents, the company announced that users will be able to stream Xbox One games to any Windows 10 PC over a local network. This includes Windows 10 tablets/convertibles. Currently, the build that the company is using only supports 30fps/720p streaming, but Microsoft hopes to up that to 60fps/1080p by the official release date of Windows 10.<br /> Those who are on older systems but want to upgrade to Windows 10&nbsp;should check out the hardware requirements.<br /> Microsoft also revealed the Xbox app, which will allow you to capture and record the last 30 seconds of gameplay in any PC game, much like Nvidia’s ShadowPlay feature. This includes games from Steam, Uplay, or Origin. In addition, you’ll be able to cut and trim the beginning and ends of clips and share them with your Xbox Live friends on the Xbox app. When we asked if there were plans to integrate the Xbox friends list with Steam’s friends library, the company said it certainly wasn’t against it and said it was in talks with Valve.<br /> <br /> Currently, the software only records the last 30 seconds of gameplay, but when we asked if there were plans to be able to up the time limit, the company said that was possibility down the road.<br /> <br /> Microsoft also announced that Fable Legends would no longer be Xbox-exclusive, and will come to PCs. Even better, PC gamers and Xbox One owners will be able to play together online. This is a start of a strategy in which Microsoft envisions cross-platform play. The company confirmed that Xbox achievements will be making their way to PC titles as well.<br /> <br /> Another sector that Microsoft said it was interested in improving in the PC gaming space pertains to battery life. With gaming laptops becoming more popular, Microsoft says it's working on optimizing the OS for gaming battery life.<br /> The Start Button<br /> Beyond the gaming stuff, Microsoft went over a multitude of other OS updates. Windows 10 will work across a wide variety of devices including phones, tablets, desktops, and laptops, and would even eventually come to the Xbox One in some form. Power desktop users worrying that their OS will be compromised with a mobile OS (a la Metro) needn't worry, because the&nbsp;Start button is indeed back and fully configurable.&nbsp;There is, however, a tablet mode where the start button opens up and shows many more touch-friendly icons, but unlike Metro which was quite in-your-face, users can ignore this altogether if they so desired. Other features include the melding of the control panel and settings menus. The company said looking at the data, users were confused by which tool did what.<br /> 4K ScalingOne of the biggest issues with current versions of Windows is 4K scaling. Everything either looks too tiny, or certain programs aren't optimized for the resolution and look blurry. Microsoft said it is working hard to solve this issue both internally and with third-party developers. Considering that 4K seems to be a mere stepping stone for UHD panels at this point, Microsoft also told us that Windows 10 will support 8K.<br /> <br /> The company's various software suites will be getting updates as well. Outlook will be getting Microsoft's popular ribbon tool, allowing you to properly compose and format letters from your email client. Power Point will support hardware acceleration for fancier transitions. Microsoft is also introducing a new photo-organizing tool, which will collect your images and categorize them by location and time. This photo tool can also enhance images automatically to remove red-eye, and delete duplicate images.<br /> <br /> The company also announced Surface Hub, which is a Windows 10 PC integrated into an 80-inch 4K TV with a mic, cameras, and touch screen. Using it, you'll be able to use a stylus to draw on PowerPoint presentations, etc. The Hub is being designed for enterprise in mind and will cater to professionals who use Skype video conferencing.<br /> HoloLens<br /> Microsoft’s last announcement was arguably the most exciting: HoloLens. Many suspected that Microsoft would release a head-mounted display for VR to compete with Oculus Rift/Project Morpheus, however the company opted to go the augmented reality route. HoloLens is a head-mounted display, but unlike VR headsets, the HoloLens grants you full vision of your surrounding with a clear glass overlay in front of your eyes. In the glass, you’ll have a video feed that beams on to it in real time. The end result is you looking at virtual objects lying around your real living room space. Furthermore, you’ll be able to use the company’s new HoloStudio program to easily build 3D models with your hands. Microsoft is calling it the best print preview for 3D printing out there.<br /> <br /> We got a chance to try the headset and can say we walked away incredibly impressed. Expect a more detailed write-up on it soon. There’s still a lot that we don’t know. For instance, we don’t know how it will interact with Windows 10 PCs considering it is it’s own dedicated, wireless device. We will say that we were pleasantly surprised by it and like VR, it has the potential to be transformative if it’s pulled off right. While no release date was given, Microsoft told us that it would come out during the Windows 10 launch timeframe.<br /> <br /> With all that said, when is Windows 10 releasing? The company says it will launch on July 29. As of early July, the schedule shows that a first wave of Windows 10 devices will arrive in August followed by another wave in September.&nbsp;<br /> What did you think of Microsoft’s various announcements? Let us know in the comments below. Before taking the plunge, check out the full details of the most critical parts of Windows 10:What you need to run Windows 10The New Settings 'App' in Windows 10Windows 10 Start Menu: The DetailsWindows 10 Vs. Windows 8.1: The Major&nbsp;DifferencesThe Top 7 Reasons To Upgrade to Windows 10 Windows 10 Graphics and Motherboard Drivers (Updating) is a list of links for downloading Windows 10 driversTue, 28 Jul 2015 07:23:39 +0000 cardsintelmotherboardsmsinvidiawindows 10 <h3>Getting ready for Windows 10</h3><p>So you've decided to upgrade to Windows 10, which is a good thing, because it's free. It's also faster than Windows 8.1 and comes with DirextX 12. The most important thing you can do is grab all the necessary drivers you'll need for your system. We've compiled a (huge) list of all the most recent products that have been blessed with new Windows 10 drivers. So what are you waiting for? Upgrade!</p><p><strong>Keep in mind:</strong> we are continually updating this list as manufacturers make their Windows 10 drivers available for their products, so check back often.</p><p>Any products with a "NO" indicator means there aren't any manufacturer-released Windows 10 drivers at this time. They may arrive at a later date. However, this doesn't mean that a board listed as NO won't run perfectly on Windows 10. Your Windows 8.1 drivers for it may suffice, but upgrade with caution.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Win10"></p><h3>Graphics Drivers</h3><h5>AMD Catalyst 15.7 (<a href="">64-bit</a>) (<a href="">32-bit</a>)</h5><h5>Nvidia 353.30 (<a href="">64-bit</a>) (<a href="">32-bit</a>)</h5><h3>Motherboards</h3><h5><strong style="background-color: initial;">ASUS</strong></h5><p>*Choose Windows 10 from drop-down menu</p><p> Z99 Motherboards<br> 1. X99-E WS - NO<br> 2.&nbsp;<a href="">X99-DELUXE</a><br> 3.&nbsp;<a href="">RAMPAGE V EXTREME</a><br> 4. X99-E WS/ USB 3.1 - NO<br> 5. X99-WS/ IPMI - NO<br> 6. <a href="">X99-A/ USB 3.1</a><br> 7. <a href="">X99-PRO/ USB 3.1<br></a>8. <a href="">SABERTOOTH X99<br></a>9. <a href="">X99-DELUXE/ U3.1<br></a>10. <a href="">RAMPAGE V EXTREME/ U3.1<br></a>11.&nbsp;<a href="">X99-PRO</a><br>12. <a href="">X99-A</a></p><p>Z97 Motherboards<br> 1.&nbsp;<a href="">MAXIMUS VII IMPACT</a><br> 2.&nbsp;<a href="">MAXIMUS VII FORMULA</a><br> 3.&nbsp;<a href="">GRYPHON Z97</a><br> 4.&nbsp;<a href="">Z97-DELUXE (NFC &amp; WLC)</a><br> 5. <a href="">SABERTOOTH Z97 MARK 2</a><br> 6.&nbsp;<a href="">SABERTOOTH Z97 MARK 1</a><br> 7. <a href="">Z97-PRO GAMER</a><br> 8. <a href="">SABERTOOTH Z97 MARK 2/ USB 3.1</a><br> 9. <a href="v">Z97-E/ USB 3.1</a><br> 10. <a href="">Z97-A/ USB 3.1</a><br> 11. <a href="">Z97-PRO(Wi-Fi ac)/ USB 3.1</a><br> 12.&nbsp;<a href="">Z97-DELUXE/ USB 3.1</a><br> 13. <a href="">SABERTOOTH Z97 MARK 1/ USB 3.1</a><br> 14.&nbsp;<a href="">SABERTOOTH Z97 MARK S</a><br> 15. <a href="">Z97-E</a><br> 16.&nbsp;<a href="">MAXIMUS VII FORMULA/ WATCH DOGS</a><br> 17. <a href="">Z97-P</a><br> 18. Z97-WS - NO<br> 19. <a href="">Z97-K/ CSM</a><br> 20.&nbsp;<a href="">MAXIMUS VII GENE</a><br> 21. <a href="">MAXIMUS VII HERO</a><br> 22. <a href="">Z97I-PLUS</a><br> 23. <a href="">Z97-C</a><br> 24. <a href="">Z97M-PLUS</a><br> 25. <a href="">Z97-PRO(Wi-Fi ac)</a><br> 26. <a href="">Z97-A</a><br> 27. <a href="">Z97-PRO</a></p><p>H97 Motherboards<br> 1. <a href="">H97M-E/ CSM</a><br> 2. <a href="">H971-PLUS</a><br> 3. <a href="">H97-PLUS</a><br> 4. <a href="">H97M-PLUS</a></p><p>Z87 Motherboards<br> 1. Z87-A (NFC EXPRESS EDITION) - NO<br> 2.&nbsp;<a href="">Z87-DELUXE/ QUAD</a><br> 3.&nbsp;<a href="">MAXIMUS VI IMPACT</a><br> 4. Z87I-DELUXE - NO<br> 5.&nbsp;<a href="">MAXIMUS VI FORMULA</a><br> 6.&nbsp;<a href="">MAXIMUS VI GENE</a><br> 7.&nbsp;<a href="">SABERTOOTH Z87</a><br> 8.&nbsp;<a href="">MAXIMUS VI HERO</a><br> 9.&nbsp;<a href="">MAXIMUS VI EXTREME</a><br> 10. GRYPHON Z87 - NO<br> 11.&nbsp;<a href="">Z87-DELUXE/ DUAL</a><br> 12. Z87-WS - NO<br> 13.&nbsp;<a href="">Z87-EXPERT</a><br> 14.&nbsp;<a href="">Z87-DELUXE</a><br> 15. <a href="">Z87M-PLUS</a><br> 16.&nbsp;<a href="">Z87-PLUS</a><br> 17.&nbsp;<a href="">Z87-PRO</a><br> 18. <a href="">Z87-K</a><br> 19.&nbsp;<a href="">Z87-C</a><br> 20.&nbsp;<a href="">Z87-A</a></p><p>H87 Motherboards<br> 1. <a href="">H87-PRO</a><br> 2. <a href="">H87M-PRO</a><br> 3. <a href="">H87M-PLUS/ CSM</a><br> 4. <a href="">H87-PLUS</a><br> 5. <a href="">H87M-E</a><br> 6. <a href="">H87I-PLUS</a></p><p>Q87 / B85 Motherboards<br> 1. <a href="">B85M-D PLUS</a><br> 2. <a href="">B85M-G R2.0</a><br> 3. <a href="">CS-B</a><br> 4. VANGUARD B85 - NO<br> 5. Q87T/ CSM - NO<br> 6. B85M-E/ CSM - NO<br> 7. Q87M-E/ CSM - NO<br> 8. <a href="">B85M-G</a><br> 9. <a href="">B85-PLUS</a></p><p>H81 Motherboards<br> 1. <a href="">N3050M-E<br></a>2. <a href="">J1800M-A<br></a>3. <a href="">J1900I-C<br></a>4. <a href="">J1800I-A<br></a>5. <a href="">J1800I-C<br></a>6. <a href="">H81M-D PLUS<br></a>7. <a href="">H81M-D<br></a>8. H81T/ CSM - NO<br>9. <a href="">H81M-C/ CSM<br></a>10. <a href="">H81I-PLUS<br></a>11. <a href="">H81M-E<br></a>12. <a href="">H81M-A<br></a>13. <a href="">H81M-PLUS</a></p><p>Z77 Motherboards<br> 1. MAXIMUS V FORMULA - NO<br> 2. SABERTOOTH Z77 - NO<br> 3. Z77-A - NO<br> 4. P8Z77-V PRO/ THUNDERBOLT - NO<br> 5. P8Z77-I DELUXE/ WD - NO<br> 6. MAXIMUS V EXTREME - NO<br> 7. MAXIMUS V FORMULA/ THUNDERFX - NO<br> 8. P8Z77-V PREMIUM - NO<br> 9. MAXIMUS V GENE - NO<br> 10. P8Z77-V LX - NO<br> 11. P8Z77 WS - NO<br> 12. P8Z77-V DELUXE – NO</p><p>H77 Motherboards<br> 1. P8H77-M/ CSM - NO<br> 2. P8H77-M PRO - NO<br> 3. P8H77-V LE – NO</p><p>Q77 / B75 Motherboards<br> 1. <a href="">B75M-A</a><br> 2. P8B75-M LX PLUS - NO<br> 3. P8Q77-M/ CSM - NO<br> 4. P8B75-M LE - NO<br> 5. P8B75-M/ CSM – NO</p><p>X79 Motherboards<br> 1.&nbsp;<a href="">P9X79 PRO</a><br> 2.&nbsp;<a href="">RAMPAGE IV BLACK EDITION</a><br>3.&nbsp;<a href="">X79-DELUXE</a><br>4. P9X79-E WS - NO<br>5.&nbsp;<a href="">RAMPAGE IV GENE</a><br>6.&nbsp;<a href="">RAMPAGE IV FORMULA</a><br>7. P9X79 WS - NO<br>8.&nbsp;<a href="">RAMPAGE IV EXTREME</a><br>9.&nbsp;<a href="">SABERTOOTH X79</a><br>10.&nbsp;<a href="">P9X79</a><br>11.&nbsp;<a href="">P9X79 DELUXE</a></p><p>Z68 Motherboards<br> 1. MAXIMUS IVGENE-Z/ GEN3 – NO</p><p>Q67 / H61 Motherboards<br> 1. <a href="">H61M-F</a><br> 2. <a href="">H61M-E</a><br> 3. H61M-A - NO<br> 4. H61M-A/ USB3 - NO<br> 5.&nbsp;<a href="">H61M-PLUS</a><br> 6. P8H61-M LX3 R2.0 - NO<br> 7. P8H61-M LX3 PLUS R2.0 - NO<br> 8. <a href="">P8H61-M LE/ CSM R2.0</a><br> 9. P8H61-M LX PLUS – NO</p><p>X58 (X48) Motherboards<br> 1. P6X58-E Pro – NO</p><p>P45/P43/(G45)/G43/G41 Motherboards<br> 1. P5G41T-M LX PLUS - NO</p><p>990FX/990X/970/760G (780L) Motherboards<br> 1. CROSSHAIR V FORMULA-Z - NO<br> 2. SABERTOOTH 990FX R2.0 - NO<br> 3. <a href="">M5A97 PLUS</a><br> 4. SABERTOOTH 990FX/ GEN3 R2.0 - NO<br> 5. M5A78L-M/ USB3 - NO<br> 6. M5A97 LE R2.0 - NO<br> 7. M5A97 R2.0 - NO<br> 8. M5A99FX PRO R2.0 - NO<br> 9. M5A78L-M LX PLUS - NO<br> 10. M5A97 EVO - NO<br> 11. CROSSHAIR V FORMULA - NO<br> 12. M5A78L-M LX – NO</p><p>FCH A50/A50M/A85X/A75/A55<br> 1. <a href="">CROSSBLADE RANGER<br></a>2, <a href="">A78M-E<br></a>3. <a href="">A88X-PRO<br></a>4. F2A85-V PRO - NO<br>5. <a href="">A68HM-K<br></a>6. <a href="">A68HM-E<br></a>7. <a href="">A68HM-PLUS<br></a>8. <a href="">A58M-K<br></a>9. <a href="">A58M-E<br></a>10. <a href="">A58M-A/ USB3<br></a>11. <a href="">A88XM-E<br></a>12. <a href="">A55BM-K<br></a>13. <a href="">A78M-A<br></a>14. <a href="">A88XM-PLUS/ CSM<br></a>15. A55BM-PLUS/ CSM - NO<br>16. <a href="">A55BM-E<br></a>17. <a href="">A88X-PLUS<br></a>18. <a href="">A55BM-A/ USB3<br></a>19. <a href="">A88XM-A<br></a>20. <a href="">A55M-E<br></a>21. <a href="">A55M-A/ USB3<br></a>22. A85XM-A - NO<br>23. F2A85-V - NO<br>24. F2A85-M/ CSM - NO<br>25. F2A55-M/ CSM - NO<br>26. F2A55-M LK PLUS - NO<br>27. F2A55-M LK - NO<br>28. F2A55-M LE - NO<br>29. F2A85-M PRO - NO<br>30. E45M1-M PRO - NO<br>31. F1A75-M PRO R2.0 - NO<br>32. F1A55-M LX PLUS R2.0 - NO<br>33. C60M1-I - NO<br>34. F1A55-M LX PLUS - NO<br>35. F1A55-M LE - NO<br>36. F1A75-I DELUXE - NO<br>37. F1A75-V EVO - NO<br>38. F1A75-V PRO - NO<br>39. E35M1-I - NO</p><h5><strong>GIGABYTE</strong></h5><p>*Choose Windows 10 from drop-down menu<br>X99 Motherboards<br>1. <a href="">GA-X99-SLI (rev. 1.0)</a><br>2. <a href="">GA-X99-UD4P (rev. 1.0)</a><br>3. <a href="">GA-X99-UD3P (rev. 1.0)</a><br>4. <a href="">GA-X99-Gaming 5P (rev. 1.0)</a><br>5. <a href="">GA-X99-SOC Champion (rev. 1.0)</a><br>6. <a href="">GA-X99-UD5 WIFI (rev. 1.1)</a><br>7. <a href="">GA-X99M-Gaming 5 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>8. <a href="">GA-X99-Gaming G1 WIFI (rev. 1.0)</a><br>9. <a href="">GA-X99-Gaming 5 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>10. <a href="">GA-X99-SOC Force (rev. 1.0)</a><br>11. <a href="">GA-X99-UD5 WIFI (rev. 1.0)</a><br>12. <a href="">GA-X99-UD4 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>13. <a href="">GA-X99-UD3 (rev. 1.0)</a></p><p>Z97 Motherboards<br>1. <a href="">GA-Z97X-Gaming 3 (rev. 1.1)</a><br>2. <a href="">GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK (rev. 1.2)</a><br>3. <a href="">GA-Z97X-SLI (rev. 1.2)</a><br>4. <a href="">GA-Z97X-UD5H (rev. 1.2)</a><br>5. <a href="">GA-Z97-D3H (rev. 1.2)</a><br>6. <a href="">GA-Z97-HD3 (rev. 2.1)</a><br>7. <a href="">GA-Z97N-WIFI (rev. 1.1)</a><br>8. <a href="">GA-Z97M-D3H (rev. 1.1)</a><br>9. <a href="">GA-Z97-HD3P (rev. 1.0)</a><br>10. <a href="">GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK (rev. 1.1)</a><br>11. <a href="">GA-Z97X-UD5H (rev. 1.1)</a><br>12. <a href="">GA-Z97-HD3 (rev. 2.0)<br></a>13. <a href="">GA-Z97-D3H (rev. 1.1)</a><br>14. <a href="">GA-Z97-D3H (rev. 1.1)</a><br>15. <a href="">GA-Z97X-UD3H (rev. 1.1)</a><br>16. <a href="">GA-Z97X-SLI (rev. 1.1)</a><br>17. <a href="">GA-Z97X-SOC Force LN2 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>18. <a href="">GA-Z97N-Gaming 5 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>19. <a href="">GA-Z97X-SOC Force (rev. 1.0)</a><br>20. <a href="">GA-Z97X-SOC (rev. 1.0)</a><br>21. <a href="">GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK (rev. 1.0)</a><br>22. <a href="">GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK (rev. 1.0)</a><br>23. <a href="">GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK (rev. 1.0)</a><br>24. <a href="">GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 (rev. 1.0)<br></a>25. <a href="">GA-Z97X-Gaming GT (rev. 1.0)</a><br>26. <a href="">G1.Sniper Z97 (rev. 1.x)</a><br>27. <a href="">GA-Z97X-Gaming 7 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>28. <a href="">GA-Z97X-Gaming 5 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>29. <a href="">GA-Z97X-Gaming 3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>30. <a href="">GA-Z97MX-Gaming 5 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>31. <a href="">GA-Z97X-UD7 TH (rev. 1.0)</a><br>32. <a href="">GA-Z97X-UD5H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>33. <a href="">GA-Z97X-UD3H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>34. <a href="">GA-Z97-D3H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>35. <a href="">GA-Z97X-SLI (rev. 1.0)</a><br>36. <a href="">GA-Z97-HD3 (rev. 1.0)<br></a>37. <a href="">GA-Z97M-DS3H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>38. <a href="">GA-Z97M-D3H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>39. <a href="">GA-Z97N-WIFI (rev. 1.0)</a></p><p>H97 Motherboards<br>1. <a href="">GA-H97-D3H (rev. 1.1)</a><br>2. <a href="">GA-H97N (rev. 1.1)</a><br>3. <a href="">GA-H97-HD3 (rev. 1.1)</a><br>4, <a href="">GA-H97M-HD3 (rev. 1.1)</a><br>5. <a href="">GA-H97M-D3H (rev. 1.1)</a><br>6. <a href="">GA-H97N-WIFI (rev. 1.1)</a><br>7. <a href="">GA-H97N (rev. 1.0)</a><br>8. <a href="">GA-H97-Gaming 3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>9. <a href="">GA-H97M-HD3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>10. <a href="">G1.Sniper H6 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>11. <a href="">GA-H97-D3H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>12. <a href="">GA-H97-HD3 (rev. 1.0)<br></a>13. <a href="">GA-H97M-D3H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>14. <a href="">GA-H97N-WIFI (rev. 1.0)</a></p><p>Z87 Motherboards<br>1. <a href="">G1.Sniper Z5 (rev. 1.1)</a><br>2. <a href="">G1.Sniper Z5S (rev. 1.1)</a><br>3. <a href="">G1.Sniper 5 (rev. 1.x)</a><br>4. <a href="">G1.Sniper Z87 (rev. 1.1)</a><br>5. <a href="">G1.Sniper M5 (rev. 1.x)</a><br>6. <a href="">GA-Z87X-OC Force (rev. 1.x)</a><br>7. <a href="">GA-Z87X-OC (rev. 1.x)</a><br>8. <a href="">GA-Z87X-UD7 TH (rev. 2.0)</a><br>9. <a href="">GA-Z87X-UD5 TH (rev. 1.x)</a><br>10. <a href="">GA-Z87X-UD5H (rev. 1.x)</a><br>11. <a href="">GA-Z87X-UD4H (rev. 1.x)</a><br>12. <a href="">GA-Z87X-UD3H (rev. 1.x)<br></a>13. <a href="">GA-Z87X-D3H (rev. 1.x)<br></a>14. <a href="">GA-Z87X-HD3 (rev. 1.1)<br></a>15. <a href="">GA-Z87-HD3 (rev. 1.x)<br></a>16. <a href="">GA-Z87-D3HP (rev. 1.x)<br></a>17. <a href="">GA-Z87-DS3H (rev. 1.1)<br></a>18. <a href="">GA-Z87P-D3 (rev. 1.x)<br></a>19. <a href="">GA-Z87MX-D3H (rev. 1.x)<br></a>20. <a href="">GA-Z87M-D3H (rev. 1.x)<br></a>21. <a href="">GA-Z87N-WIFI (rev. 1.x)</a></p><p>Q87 / B85 Motherboards<br>1. <a href="">GA-Q87N (rev. 1.1)</a><br>2. <a href="">GA-Q87M-MK (rev. 1.1)</a><br>3. <a href="">GA-Q87M-D2H (rev. 1.x)</a><br>4. <a href="">GA-Q87TN (rev. 1.0)</a><br>5. <a href="">GA-B85M-HD3-A (rev. 1.0)</a><br>6. <a href="">GA-B85M-DS3H-A (rev. 1.0)</a><br>7. <a href="">GA-B85-HD3-A (rev. 1.0)</a><br>8. <a href="">GA-B85M-D3H (rev. 1.2)</a><br>9. <a href="">GA-B85M-HD3 (rev. 3.0)</a><br>10. <a href="">GA-B85M-DS3H (rev. 3.0)</a><br>11. <a href="">GA-B85M-Gaming 3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>12. <a href="">G1.Sniper B6 (rev. 1.0)<br></a>13. <a href="">GA-B85-HD3 (rev. 2.1)</a><br>14. <a href="">G1.Sniper B5 (rev. 1.2)</a><br>15. <a href="">GA-B85M-DS3H (rev. 2.0)</a><br>16. <a href="">GA-B85M-HD3 (rev. 2.0)</a><br>17. <a href="">GA-B85N Phoenix-WIFI (rev. 1.1)</a><br>18. <a href="">GA-B85M-D3V (rev. 2.1)</a><br>19. <a href="">GA-P85-D3 (rev. 2.x)</a><br>20. <a href="">GA-B85N-WIFI (rev. 1.1)</a><br>21. <a href="">GA-B85M-D3V (rev. 2.0)</a><br>22. <a href="">GA-B85-D3V (rev. 1.1)</a><br>23. <a href="">G1.Sniper B5 (rev. 1.x)</a><br>24. <a href="">GA-B85-HD3 (rev. 2.0)</a><br>25. <a href="">GA-B85-HD3 (rev. 1.x)</a><br>26. <a href="">GA-P85-D3 (rev. 1.x)</a><br>27. <a href="">GA-B85M-D3H (rev. 1.0/1.1)</a><br>28. <a href="">GA-B85M-HD3 (rev. 1.x)</a><br>29. <a href="">GA-B85M-DS3H (rev. 1.1)</a><br>30. <a href="">GA-B85M-D3V (rev. 1.1)</a><br>31. <a href="">GA-B85M-D2V (rev. 1.1)</a><br>32. <a href="">GA-B85N (rev. 1.1)</a><br>33. GA-B85TN (rev. 1.0) - NO</p><p>H87 Motherboards<br>1. <a href="">GA-H87-D3H (rev. 1.x)</a><br>2. <a href="">GA-H87-HD3 (rev. 1.x)</a><br>3. <a href="">GA-H87M-D3H (rev. 1.x)</a><br>4. <a href="">GA-H87M-HD3 (rev. 1.x)</a><br>5. <a href="">GA-H87N-WIFI (rev. 1.x)</a><br>6. <a href="">GA-H87N-WIFI (rev. 2.0)</a><br>7. <a href="">GA-H87N (rev. 1.1)<br></a>8. GA-H87TN (rev. 1.0) - NO</p><p>H81 Motherboards<br>1. <a href="">GA-H81M-S2H GSM (rev. 1.0)</a><br>2. <a href="">GA-H81M-H (rev. 2.1)</a><br>3. <a href="">GA-H81M-HD3 (rev. 2.0)</a><br>4. <a href="">GA-H81M-S2H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>5. <a href="">GA-H81-D3 (rev. 2.0)</a><br>6. <a href="">GA-H81M-H (rev. 2.0)</a><br>7. <a href="">GA-H81M-S1 (rev. 2.1)</a><br>8. <a href="">GA-H81M-HD2 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>9. <a href="">GA-H81.Amp-UP (rev. 1.0)</a><br>10. <a href="">GA-H81-D3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>11. <a href="">GA-H81M-HD3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>12. <a href="">GA-H81M-DS2V (rev. 1.0)<br></a>13. <a href="">GA-H81M-DS2 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>14. <a href="">GA-H81M-D3V (rev. 1.0)</a><br>15. <a href="">GA-H81M-D2V (rev. 1.0)</a><br>16. <a href="">GA-H81M-S2PH (rev. 1.0)</a><br>17. <a href="">GA-H81M-S2PV (rev. 1.0)</a><br>18. <a href="">GA-H81M-H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>19. <a href="">GA-H81N (rev. 1.0)</a><br>20. GA-H81TN (rev. 1.0) - NO</p><p>X79 / C606 Motherboards<br>1. <a href="">G1.Assassin 2 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>2. <a href="">GA-X79-UD7 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>3. <a href="">GA-X79-UD5 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>4. <a href="">GA-X79-UP4 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>5. <a href="">GA-X79-UP4 (rev. 1.1)</a><br>6. <a href="">GA-X79-UD3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>7. <a href="">GA-X79-UD3 (rev. 1.1)</a><br>8. <a href="">GA-X79S-UP5-WIFI (rev. 1.1)</a><br>9. <a href="">GA-X79S-UP5-WIFI (rev. 1.0)</a></p><p>Z77 Motherboards<br>1. <a href="">G1.Sniper 3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>2. <a href="">G1.Sniper M3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>3. <a href="">GA-Z77X-UP7 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>4. <a href="">GA-Z77X-UP5 TH (rev. 1.0)</a><br>5. <a href="">GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB WIFI (rev. 1.0)</a><br>6. <a href="">GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB WIFI (rev. 1.1)</a><br>7. <a href="">GA-Z77X-UD5H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>8. <a href="">GA-Z77X-UD5H (rev. 1.1)</a><br>9. <a href="">GA-Z77X-UP4 TH (rev. 1.0)</a><br>10. <a href="">GA-Z77X-UD4H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>11. <a href="">GA-Z77X-UD3H (rev. 1.1)</a><br>12. <a href="">GA-Z77X-UD3H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>13. <a href="">GA-Z77X-D3H (rev. 1.1)</a><br>14. <a href="">GA-Z77X-D3H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>15. <a href="">GA-Z77-HD4 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>16. <a href="">GA-Z77-HD3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>17. <a href="">GA-Z77-D3H (rev. 1.2)</a><br>18. <a href="">GA-Z77-D3H (rev. 1.1)</a><br>19. <a href="">GA-Z77-D3H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>20. <a href="">GA-Z77-DS3H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>21. <a href="">GA-Z77-DS3H (rev. 1.1)</a><br>22. <a href="">GA-Z77MX-D3H (rev. 1.1)</a><br>23. <a href="">GA-Z77MX-D3H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>24. <a href="">GA-Z77M-D3H-MVP (rev. 1.0)</a><br>25. <a href="">GA-Z77M-D3H-MVP (rev. 1.1)</a><br>26. <a href="">GA-Z77M-D3H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>27. <a href="">GA-Z77N-WIFI (rev. 1.0)</a></p><p>Q77 / B75 Motherboards<br>1. <a href="">GA-Q77M-D2H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>2. <a href="">GA-P75-D3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>3. <a href="">GA-P75-D3 (rev. 1.1)</a><br>4. <a href="">GA-B75N (rev. 1.0)</a><br>5. <a href="">GA-B75M-HD3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>6. <a href="">GA-B75M-D3H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>7. <a href="">GA-B75M-D3H (rev. 1.1)</a><br>8. <a href="">GA-B75M-D3P (rev. 1.0)</a><br>9. <a href="">GA-B75M-D3V (rev. 1.1)</a><br>10. <a href="">GA-B75M-D3V (rev. 1.0)</a><br>11. GA-B75TN (rev. 1.1) - NO</p><p>H77 Motherboards<br>1. <a href="">GA-H77-DS3H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>2. <a href="">GA-H77-DS3H (rev. 1.1)</a><br>3. <a href="">GA-H77M-D3H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>4. <a href="">GA-H77M-D3H (rev. 1.1)</a><br>5. <a href="">GA-H77N-WIFI (rev. 1.0)</a><br>6. GA-H77TN (rev. 1.1) - NO</p><p>Z68 Motherboards<br>1. G1.Sniper 2 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>2. <a href="">GA-Z68X-UD7-B3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>3. <a href="">GA-Z68XP-UD5 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>4. <a href="">GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>5. <a href="">GA-Z68XP-UD4 (rev. 1.3)</a><br>6. <a href="">GA-Z68XP-UD4 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>7. <a href="">GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>8. <a href="">GA-Z68XP-UD3P (rev. 1.3)</a><br>9. <a href="">GA-Z68XP-UD3P (rev. 1.0)</a><br>10. <a href="">GA-Z68X-UD3P-B3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>11. <a href="">GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>12. <a href="">GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 (rev. 1.3)</a><br>13. <a href="">GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD (rev. 1.0)</a><br>14. <a href="">GA-Z68X-UD3-B3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>15. <a href="">GA-Z68XP-UD3 (rev. 1.3)</a><br>16. <a href="">GA-Z68XP-UD3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>17. <a href="">GA-Z68XP-D3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>18. <a href="">GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 (rev. 1.3)</a><br>19. <a href="">GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>20. <a href="">GA-Z68A-D3-B3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>21. <a href="">GA-Z68AP-D3 (rev. 2.0)</a><br>22. <a href="">GA-Z68AP-D3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>23. <a href="">GA-Z68P-DS3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>24. <a href="">GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3 (rev. 1.3)</a><br>25. <a href="">GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>26. <a href="">GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 (rev. 1.3)</a><br>27. <a href="">GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>28. <a href="">GA-Z68M-D2H (rev. 1.0)</a></p><p>P67 / H67 Motherboards<br>1. <a href="">GA-P67A-UD7-B3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>2. <a href="">GA-P67A-UD5-B3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>3. <a href="">GA-P67A-UD4-B3 (rev. 1.1)</a><br>4. <a href="">GA-P67A-UD3P-B3 (rev. 1.1)</a><br>5. <a href="">GA-P67X-UD3-B3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>6. <a href="">GA-P67A-UD3-B3 (rev. 1.x)</a><br>7. <a href="">GA-P67A-D3-B3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>8. <a href="">GA-P67A-UD7 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>9. <a href="">GA-P67A-UD5 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>10. <a href="">GA-P67A-UD4 (rev. 1.1)</a><br>11. <a href="">GA-P67A-UD4 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>12. <a href="">GA-P67A-UD3P (rev. 1.1)</a><br>13. <a href="">GA-P67A-UD3P (rev. 1.0)</a><br>14. <a href="">GA-P67A-UD3 (rev. 1.1)</a><br>15. <a href="">GA-P67A-UD3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>16. <a href="">GA-H67A-UD3H-B3 (rev. 1.1)</a><br>17. <a href="">GA-H67N-USB3-B3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>18. <a href="">GA-H67MA-UD2H-B3 (rev. 1.1)</a><br>19. <a href="">GA-H67MA-USB3-B3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>20. <a href="">GA-H67MA-D2H-B3 (rev. 1.1)</a><br>21. <a href="">GA-H67MA-D2H-B3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>22. <a href="">GA-H67M-D2-B3 (rev. 1.1)</a><br>23. <a href="">GA-H67M-D2-B3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>24. <a href="">GA-H67A-UD3H (rev. 1.1)</a><br>25. <a href="">GA-H67A-UD3H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>26. <a href="">GA-H67MA-UD2H (rev. 1.1)</a><br>27. <a href="">GA-H67MA-UD2H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>28. <a href="">GA-H67MA-D2H (rev. 1.1)</a><br>29. <a href="">GA-H67MA-D2H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>30. <a href="">GA-H67M-D2 (rev. 1.1)</a><br>31. <a href="">GA-H67M-D2 (rev. 1.0)</a></p><p>Q67 / B65 / H61 Motherboards<br>1. GA-Q67M-D2H-B3 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>2. <a href="">GA-H61M-S1 (rev. 3.0)</a><br>3. <a href="">GA-P61-USB3-B3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>4. <a href="">GA-H61M-HD2 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>5. <a href="">GA-H61M-USB3H (rev. 1.0)</a><br>6. GA-H61M-USB3-B3 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>7. GA-H61M-USB3-B3 (rev. 1.1) - NO<br>8. <a href="">GA-H61M-DS2 DVI (rev. 1.0)</a><br>9. <a href="">GA-H61M-DS2H (rev. 2.1)</a><br>10. <a href="">GA-H61M-DS2 (rev. 2.0)</a><br>11. GA-H61M-DS2 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>12. GA-H61M-DS2 (rev. 1.2) - NO<br>13. <a href="">GA-H61M-DS2 (rev. 2.1)</a><br>14. <a href="">GA-H61M-DS2 (rev. 2.2)</a><br>15. <a href="">GA-H61M-D2P-B3 (rev. 1.0)</a><br>16. <a href="">GA-H61MA-D3V (rev. 2.0)</a><br>17. <a href="">GA-H61MA-D3V (rev. 2.1)</a><br>18. GA-H61M-S2PV (rev. 2.0) - NO<br>19. <a href="">GA-H61M-S2PV (rev. 1.0)</a><br>20. <a href="">GA-H61M-S2PV (rev. 2.1)</a><br>21. <a href="">GA-H61M-S2PV (rev. 2.2)</a><br>22. <a href="">GA-H61M-S2V-B3 (rev. 1.1)</a><br>23. GA-H61M-S2P-B3 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>24. GA-H61M-S2P-B3 (rev. 1.1) - NO<br>25. GA-H61M-S2H (rev. 1.2) - NO<br>26. GA-H61M-S2-B3 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>27. <a href="">GA-H61M-S1 (rev. 2.2)</a><br>28. <a href="">GA-H61N-USB3 (rev. 1.0)</a></p><p>X58 Motherboards<br>1. G1.Assassin (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>2. G1.Sniper (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>3. G1.Guerrilla (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>4. GA-X58A-OC (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>5. A-X58A-UD9 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>6. GA-X58A-UD7 (rev. 2.0) - NO<br>7. GA-X58A-UD7 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>8. GA-X58A-UD5 (rev. 2.0) - NO<br>9. GA-X58A-UD5 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>10. GA-X58A-UD3R (rev. 2.0) - NO<br>11. GA-X58A-UD3R (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>12. GA-X58-USB3 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>13. GA-EX58-EXTREME (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>14. GA-EX58-UD5 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>15. GA-EX58-UD4P (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>16. GA-EX58-UD3R (rev. 1.0/1.1) - NO<br>17. GA-EX58-UD3R (rev. 1.6) - NO<br>18. GA-EX58-UD3R (rev. 1.7) - NO</p><p>NM70 / Bay Trail-D Motherboards<br>1. GA-C1037UN (rev. 2.0) - NO<br>2. GA-C1037UN (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>3. GA-C1007UN-D (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>4. GA-C847N-D (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>5. GA-J1900N-D3V (rev. 1.x) - NO<br>6. GA-J1800N-D2P (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>7. GA-J1800N-D2H (rev. 1.x) - NO</p><p>990FX / 990X / 970 Motherboards<br>1. GA-990FXA-UD3 R5 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>2. GA-990FXA-UD5 R5 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>3. GA-990FXA-UD5 (rev. 3.1) - NO<br>4. GA-990FXA-UD7 (rev. 3.0) - NO<br>5. GA-990FXA-UD7 (rev. 1.x) - NO<br>6. GA-990FXA-UD5 (rev. 3.0) - NO<br>7. GA-990FXA-UD5 (rev. 1.x) - NO<br>8. GA-990FXA-UD3 (rev. 4.0) - NO<br>9. GA-990FXA-UD3 (rev. 3.0) -NO<br>10. GA-990FXA-UD3 (rev. 1.1) - NO<br>11. GA-990FXA-UD3 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>12. GA-990XA-UD3 (rev. 1.x) - NO<br>13. GA-970A-DS3P (rev. 2.0) - NO<br>14. GA-970A-UD3P (rev. 2.0) - NO<br>15. GA-970A-D3P (rev. 2.0) - NO<br>16. GA-970A-UD3P (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>17. GA-970A-DS3P (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>18. GA-970A-UD3 (rev. 3.0) - NO<br>19. GA-970A-UD3 (rev. 1.2) - NO<br>20. GA-970A-UD3 (rev. 1.0/1.1) - NO<br>21. GA-970A-D3P (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>22. GA-970A-DS3 (rev. 3.0) - NO<br>23. GA-970A-DS3 (rev. 1.1) - NO<br>24. GA-970A-DS3 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>25. GA-970A-D3 (rev. 3.0) - NO<br>26. GA-970A-D3 (rev. 1.4) - NO<br>27. GA-970A-D3 (rev. 1.0/1.1) - NO</p><p>A88X / A85X Motherboards<br>1. GA-F2A88XM-D3H (rev. 3.1) - NO<br>2. G1.Sniper A88X (rev. 3.0) - NO<br>3. GA-F2A88X-UP4 (rev. 3.0) - NO<br>4. GA-F2A88X-D3H (rev. 3.0) - NO<br>5. GA-F2A88XM-HD3 (rev. 3.0/3.1) - NO<br>6. GA-F2A88XM-D3H (rev. 3.0) - NO<br>7. GA-F2A88XM-DS2 (rev. 3.0/3.1) - NO<br>8. GA-F2A88XN-WIFI (rev. 3.0) - NO<br>9. GA-F2A85X-UP4 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>10. GA-F2A85X-D3H (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>11. GA-F2A85XM-HD3 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>12. GA-F2A85XM-D3H (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>13. GA-F2A85XM-DS2 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>14. GA-F2A85XN-WIFI (rev. 1.0) - NO</p><p>A78 / A75 Motherboards<br>1. GA-F2A78M-HD2 (rev. 3.1) - NO<br>2. GA-F2A78M-D3H (rev. 4.0) - NO<br>3. GA-F2A78M-HD2 (rev. 3.0) - NO<br>4. GA-F2A78M-D3H (rev. 3.0) - NO<br>5. GA-F2A75M-D3H (rev. 3.0) - NO<br>6. GA-F2A75M-HD2 (rev. 3.0) - NO<br>7. GA-F2A75M-HD2 (rev. 1.2) - NO<br>8. GA-F2A75M-D3H (rev. 1.2) - NO<br>9. GA-F2A75M-D3H (rev. 1.1) - NO<br>10. GA-F2A75M-D3H (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>11. GA-A75-UD4H (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>12. GA-A75-D3H (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>13. GA-A75M-UD2H (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>14. GA-A75M-D2H (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>15. GA-A75M-DS2 (rev. 3.0) - NO<br>16. GA-A75M-S2V (rev. 1.0) - NO</p><p>A68H / A58 / A55 Motherboards<br>1. GA-F2A68HM-H (rev. 1.1) - NO<br>2. GA-F2A68HM-HD2 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>3. GA-F2A68HM-H (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>4. GA-F2A68HM-DS2H (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>5. GA-F2A68HM-DS2 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>6. GA-F2A58M-S1 (rev. 3.0/3.1) - NO<br>7. GA-F2A58M-HD2 (rev. 3.x) - NO<br>8. GA-F2A58M-DS2 (rev. 3.x) - NO<br>9. GA-F2A55M-S1 (rev. 3.0) - NO<br>10. GA-F2A55M-DS2 (rev. 3.0) - NO<br>11. GA-F2A55M-HD2 (rev. 3.0) - NO<br>12. GA-F2A55M-HD2 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>13. GA-F2A55M-DS2 (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>14. GA-A55M-S2V (rev. 1.1) - NO<br>15. GA-A55M-DS2 (rev. 2.1/2.2) - NO<br>16. GA-A55M-DS2 (rev. 2.0) - NO<br>17. GA-A55M-DS2 (rev. 1.1) - NO<br>18. GA-A55M-DS2 (rev. 1.0) - NO</p><p>AM1 Motherboards<br>1. GA-AM1M-S2H (rev. 1.0) - NO<br>2. GA-AM1M-S2P (rev. 1.0) - NO</p><h5><strong>MSI</strong></h5><p>OVERCLOCKING<br> 1. X99A XPOWER AC - NO<br> 2. X99S XPOWER PC - NO<br> 3. X99A MPOWER - NO<br> 4. X995 MPOWER - NO<br> 5. <a href="">Z97 XPOWER AC</a><br> 6. <a href="">Z97 MPOWER MAX PC</a><br> 7. <a href="">Z97 MPOWER</a><br> 8. <a href="">Z87 XPOWER</a><br> 9. <a href="">Z87 MPOWER MAX AC</a><br> 10. <a href="">Z87 MPOWER MAX</a><br> 11. <a href="">Z87 MPOWER</a><br> 12. <a href="">Z87 MPOWER SP</a></p><p>GAMING<br> 1. Z99A GAMING 9 ACK - NO<br> 2. X99S GAMING 9 ACK - NO<br> 3. Z99S Gaming 9 AC - NO<br> 4. Z99A GAMING 7 - NO<br> 5. X99S GAMING 7 - NO<br> 6. <a href="">Z97A Gaming 9 ACK</a><br> 7. <a href="">Z97 Gaming 9 ACK</a><br> 8. <a href="">Z97 Gaming 9 AC</a><br> 9. <a href="">Z97A GAMING 7</a><br> 10. <a href="">Z97 GAMING 7</a><br> 11. <a href="">Z97A GAMING 6</a><br> 12. <a href="">Z97 GAMING 5</a><br> 13. <a href="">Z97 GAMING 3</a><br> 14. <a href="">Z97-GD65 GAMING</a><br> 15. <a href="">Z97-G45 GAMING</a><br> 16. <a href="">Z97M GAMING</a><br> 17. <a href="">Z971 GAMING ACK</a><br> 18. <a href="">Z971 GAMING AC</a><br> 19. <a href="">H97 GAMING 3</a><br> 20. <a href="">Z87-GD65 GAMING</a><br> 21. <a href="">Z87-G45 GAMING</a><br> 22. <a href="">Z87-G43 GAMING</a><br> 23. <a href="">Z87M GAMING</a><br> 24. <a href="">Z87I GAMING AC</a><br> 25. Z77A-GD65 GAMING - NO<br> 26. Z77A-G45 GAMING - NO<br> 27. Z77A-G43 GAMING - NO<br> 28. <a href="">B85M GAMING</a><br> 29. 990FXA GAMING - NO<br> 30. <a href="">970 GAMING</a><br> 31. A88X-G45 GAMING - NO<br> 32. A88X-G45 GAMING - NO<br> 33. A88XM GAMING – NO</p><p>ECO<br> 1. <a href="">H97M ECO</a><br> 2. <a href="">B85M ECO</a><br> 3. <a href="">H81M ECO</a></p><p>MORE MSI&nbsp;X99, X79 BOARDS<br> 1. X99S SLI Krait Edition - NO<br> 2. X99A SLI PLUS - NO<br> 3. X99A SLI Krait Edition - NO<br> 4. X995 SLI PLUS – NO</p><p>MORE MSI&nbsp;Z97 BOARDS<br> 1. <a href="">Z97S SLI Krait Edition</a><br> 2. <a href="">Z97 GUARD-PRO</a><br> 3. <a href="">Z97S SLI PLUS</a><br> 4. <a href="">Z97-G55 SLI</a><br> 5. <a href="">Z97 U3 PLUS</a><br> 6. <a href="">Z97M-G43</a><br> 7. <a href="">Z97 PC Mate</a><br> 8. <a href="">Z97I AC</a></p> Samsung Intros Monitor With Wireless Charging, FreeSync's new monitor has a built-in Qi wireless charger and AMD FreeSync technology.Mon, 27 Jul 2015 19:37:12 +0000 charging <p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Samsung's new monitor with built-in Qi wireless charging"></p><h3>Built-in Qi wireless charger and AMD FreeSync technology</h3><p> <a href=""></a></p><p> <a target="_blank" href="">Samsung launched on Monday</a> the “world’s first” monitor, the SE370, that offers built-in wireless charging for phones and tablets. The company is offering the SE370 in two sizes, 23.6 inches (S24E370DL) and 27 inches (S27E370DS), that are compatible with the Qi wireless charging standard developed by the Wireless Power Consortium.</p><p> Outside the difference in sizes, both monitors provide the same features: a 1920x1080 resolution, a 4ms response time, 178-degree viewing angles, and a typical contrast ratio of 1000:1. Connectivity options include one HDMI 1.4 port, one DisplayPort 1.2 port, and one D-Sub port. However, these two monitors have different brightness levels: 250 cd/m2 (23.6 inch model) and 300 cd/m2 (27 inch model).</p><p> “Through the integration of wireless mobile charging technology, our innovative SE370 monitor dramatically improves efficiency, convenience and connectivity at home and at work&mdash;representing another significant milestone in our long history of industry&mdash;firsts,” said Seok-gi Kim, Senior Vice President, Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics.</p><p> These two monitors throw out the integrated USB charging ports for a circular wireless charging area that’s built into the monitor’s base. Customers with a compatible device merely place it within the circular area. Once a connection is established, an LED will light, signaling that charging has commenced. Additional information about Qi wireless charging <a target="_blank" href="">can be found here</a>.</p><p> In addition to the wireless charging feature, Samsung also pointed out on Monday that the SE370 includes an eye-saver mode that reportedly reduces eye strain by turning down&nbsp;the amount of blue light. There’s also a flicker-free function that the company says reduces eye strain when the monitor is set at certain refresh rates.</p><p> For AMD-based PC gamers,&nbsp;Samsung has thrown in FreeSync technology. For the uninitiated, this built-in hardware syncs with the machine’s AMD&nbsp;GPU or APU and adjusts the refresh rate to match the game’s framerate. This eliminates screen tears, reduces input latency, and allows for a more fluid experience.</p><p> “The monitor’s game mode detects changes in scenes and instantly corrects blurry images, enhances colors, and alters contrast for improved visibility,” the company said on Monday.</p><p> Unfortunately, Samsung did not provide pricing or availability. However, the company acknowledged that these two monitors are Windows 10 certified.</p><p> <em>Image by Samsung Tomorrow</em></p> Newegg Daily Deals: AVG AntiVirus 2015, Linksys EA9200 Wireless Router, and More! for security software? PAY for security software!? It's a foreign concept to many savvy PC users, and true enough, you can protect your PC for free. However, paid AV solutions bring additional features to the table, and when the right deal comes along, you barely have to open your wallet or purse.Mon, 27 Jul 2015 18:28:41 +0000 dealsNeweggNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Avg"></p><h3>Top Deal:</h3><p>Pay for security software? PAY for security software!? It's a foreign concept to many savvy PC users, and true enough, you can protect your PC for free. However, paid AV solutions bring additional features to the table, and when the right deal comes along, you barely have to open your wallet or purse. Case in point, today's top deal for <a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-Other-N82E16832620125-_-0727&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555&amp;cm_sp=&amp;PID=7744002&amp;SID=" target="_blank">AVG AntiVirus 2015</a> for <strong>$10</strong> with free shipping (normally $40 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNR83</strong>]). This will cover three PCs for one year. It's a robust solution that, in addition to AV protection, includes identity theft protection, anti-spyware controls, Wi-Fi guard, a file shredder, and more.</p><p><strong>Other Deals:</strong></p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-NETWORK-N82E16833124571-_-0727&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Linksys EA9200-4A Wireless AC3200 Tri-Band Smart Wi-Fi Router</a> for <strong>$160</strong> with free shipping (normally $210 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNR44</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-DESKTOP-N82E16883103929-_-0727&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Acer Aspire T Intel Core i5 4440 4GB DDR3 500GB HDD Windows 8.1 64-Bit</a> for <strong>$340</strong> with free shipping (normally $350 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNR43</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-OTHER-N82E16820211670-_-0727&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Adata Value-Driven S102 Pro 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive</a> for <strong>$13</strong> with $1 shipping (normally $15 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNR52</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-OTHER-0S8-0088-00086-_-0727&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Orico 30W 4 Port White USB Car Charger</a> for <strong>$10</strong> with free shipping (normally $18 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNR69</strong>])</p> Security Firm Warns of Texting Vulnerability major vulnerability in Android could allow an attacker to take over someone's phone just by textingMon, 27 Jul 2015 18:16:27 +0000 <h3>Major flaw in Android could affect 95 percent of devices</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Android Phone"></p><p> A mobile security firm is sounding the alarm on a flaw in Android that could potentially allow an attacker to gain control of a smartphone simply by sending a text message. What's scary about the threat is that in many cases, it doesn't require any interaction on the part of the victim&mdash;in theory, an attacker could send a specially crafted media file by way of MMS to an Android phone while the owner is sleeping, take control, and delete the message before it can be seen. The user would continue to use his or her smartphone the next morning, not knowing that it's been compromised.</p><p> That's according to Zimperium, which has dubbed the exploit Stagefright. The firm said its VP of Platform Research and Exploitation discovered the flaw deep in Android's code base, and while it hasn't been exploited yet, the firm says it affects 95 percent of Android devices. Pretty scary when you consider than nearly 80 percent of all the smartphones in the world run Android.</p><p> "Android and derivative devices after and including version 2.2 are vulnerable. Devices running Android versions prior to Jelly Bean (roughly 11 percent of devices) are at the worst risk due to inadequate exploit mitigations. If ‘Heartbleed’ from the PC era sends chill down your spine, this is much worse," Zimperium stated in a blog post.</p><p> Zimperium says it reported the vulnerability to Google along with patches, and that Google promptly applied those patches to internal code branches. However, it could take a long time before the majority of Android users are safe from the exploit.</p><p> "For the mobile devices without zIPS protection, fixes for these issues require an OTA firmware update for all affected devices. Such updates for Android devices have traditionally taken a long time to reach users," Zimperium added.</p><p> Furthermore, devices older than 18 months may never seen an update at all.</p><p> Android device owners who use Google's Hangout app for text messaging are the most vulnerable. As Zimperium explained to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>NPR</em></a>, an attacker could hide malware inside a short video and text it to an Android device. When it's received, Hangouts instantly and automatically processes the video so that it's ready for viewing in the phone's gallery. This is how malware can sneak in without any user interaction.</p><p> For Android device owners using the default messaging app, they'd have to view the text message, though still wouldn't be required to play the video for the malware to be installed.</p><p> <em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> OUYA CEO Leaves, Confirms Razer Purchase has acquired OUYA's software business.Mon, 27 Jul 2015 17:30:05 +0000 <p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Ouya"></p><p> Razer announced on Monday that it has acquired the software assets of OUYA, the Android console that hit the retail chain in June 2013 after an amazingly successful <a href="">Kickstarter campaign</a> that churned out $8.6 million. Former OUYA CEO Julie Uhrman also confirmed the acquisition <a href="">on Twitter</a>, saying that she’s now pursuing her next project.</p><center><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"> .<a href="">@Razer</a> Can't wait to see what you do. Take care of my incredible team and community...I know you will. </p><p> &mdash; Julie Uhrman (@juhrman) <a href="">July 27, 2015</a> </p></blockquote></center><p> According to Razer, the company has acquired OUYA’s developer relations personnel and the technical team. Both departments now serve Razer under its software arm. The company also plans to re-launch the OUYA store as Cortex for Android TV, the store that serves up games and other content for Razer’s Forge TV set-top-box.</p><p> So what does this mean for current OUYA console owners? The company said on Monday that it will provide OUYA owners with “deep discounts” on OUYA hardware. There will also be “a spate of freebies, giveaways, and promotions” on newly purchased Forge consoles. Even more, these customers will be able to bring their accounts, controllers and games over to the Forge console.</p><p> “In the near future, Razer will be providing existing OUYA users with a clear path of migration to the more advanced Forge TV micro-console and Serval controller bundle,” the press release stated. “While Razer is not retaining interest in OUYA hardware or related other assets, it does plan to publish Android TV content and Android-based TV console games under the OUYA moniker as a separate interest.”</p><p> As the Kickstarter project illustrated, the OUYA console showed promise. It was the first of many Android consoles, but its biggest flaw was that it didn’t allow customers to bring their games over from Google Play. Instead, the company relied on a catalog of games developed exclusively for the OUYA. While this was great for indie game developers, the move likely turned away many potential customers.</p><p> Introduced in January during CES 2015, Razer started taking pre-orders for its <a href="">Forge TV</a> set-top-box back in April 2015. The device will come packed with Qualcomm’s quad-core Snapdragon 805 clocked at 2.5 GHz and the Adreno 420 GPU. Other ingredients include 16 GB of internal storage, 2 GB of RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, dual-band Wireless AC and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity, USB 3.0 ports and HDMI 1.4 output.</p><p> The big selling point with Forge TV is that it allows PC gamers to stream their favorite games from a PC to the set-top-box. The device is also based on Android TV, meaning customers will have access to all of their Android games: there’s no re-purchasing titles going on here.</p><p> “Razer has a long-term vision for Android TV and Android-based TV consoles, such as the Xiaomi Mi Box and Alibaba Tmall Box, to which OUYA already publishes,” says Razer Co-Founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan. “OUYA’s work with game developers, both triple A and indies, went a long way in bringing Android games to the living room and Razer intends to further that work. This acquisition is envisaged to usher more developers and content to the Android TV platform.”</p><p> Razer stated in its press release that the acquisition closed on June 12, 2015. Financial details were not provided.</p> Intel May Bring Skylake to Compute Stick and NUC Devices has it that Intel is preparing new Compute Stick and NUC models with Skylake hardware.Mon, 27 Jul 2015 17:05:59 +0000 stickintelNewsnucskylake <h3>Big upgrades for little PCs</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Compute Stick"></p><p> The tiny PC movement gains steam with each new generation of hardware, as they become more powerful and capable machines. Today's options are already viable alternatives to bigger PCs, at least in the right setting -- if your mom and pop only surf the web and fire off emails, they might be content with something like a NUC or even a <a href="">Compute Stick</a>.</p><p> They're not appropriate for power-hungry applications like gaming and content creation chores, but they are about to get more powerful (and power efficient) if reports are true that next generation solutions with Skylake inside are true.</p><p> According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">Digitimes</a></em>, Intel will roll out Skylake-based Compute Stick and NUC solutions in October, while companies like ECS, Gigabyte, Asus, and ASRock all have plans to launch related products.</p><p> Analysts like to harp on declining PC growth, though apparently these little systems are winning favor among consumers and seeing a continuous rise in sales. Adding Skylake to the mix will make them even more attractive than they already are.</p><p> One of Intel's upcoming refreshes is a Compute Stick with a Core m3-6Y30 processor, due out in October. It will also have 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and Windows 10.</p><p> Another version will sport a Core m5-6Y57 vPro processor, though it won't come with an operating system, <em>Digitimes</em> says. With the improved microarchitecture and graphics, both look to be decent upgrades over today's solutions.</p><p> As for the NUC, Intel is reportedly prepping versions that will feature Skylake-based processor options codenamed Swift Canyon that are specifically designed for NUCs. There will also be performance-based Core i7 CPUs options sometime in the first quarter of next year.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Microsoft Utility Allows Windows 10 Home Users to Block Unwanted Updates doesn't look like Windows 10 Home user will be subjected to mandatory security updates, after all.Mon, 27 Jul 2015 16:28:23 +0000 10 <h3>Taking back control</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Windows 10"></p><p> Microsoft appears to be backtracking on its decision to force automatic updates on Windows 10 Home users. The controversial policy came to light with the release of the 10240 build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview and its accompanying EULA. In it, Microsoft made it known that automatic updates would be mandatory, whereas Windows 10 Pro users would have the option to delay them for up to eight months.</p><p> One of the fears with that policy is that Microsoft could inadvertently break compatibility with an update or cause instability issues. Microsoft's track history isn't spotless in this regard, so some users prefer to wait a bit before installing updates to make sure they're aren't any issues, especially on mission critical machines.</p><p> They may get their wish. A recently released and "well-hidden" troubleshooter package (<a href="" target="_blank">KB3073930</a>) that was first spotted by <em><a href="" target="_blank">ZDNet</a></em> gives Windows 10 Home users the option of hiding or blocking Windows Updates and driver updates. The latter is especially good news to the Windows 10 testers who recently complained that a forced Nvidia driver doled out by Windows was causing trouble.</p><p> The knowledge base article for the troubleshooting utility acknowledges that " in rare cases, a specific driver or update might temporarily cause issues with your device, and in this case you will need a way to prevent the problematic driver or update from reinstalling automatically the next time Windows Updates are installed."</p><p> After installing the optional utility, users will have access to an interface that allows them to hide or show updates. The ones that are hidden will not be installed.</p><p> It's not clear if the utility will work with the final version of Windows 10, though chances are it will since it works just fine with the RTM.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Ask the Doctor: New Builds, SSD Decisions, Power Woes Doctor answers your questions about Windows 10, building PCs, and waiting for SSDsMon, 27 Jul 2015 16:21:46 +0000 10 <p><em>This article was published in the July 2015 issue of </em>Maximum PC<em>. For more trusted reviews and feature stories,<a target="_blank" href="">subscribe here</a>.</em></p><h3>The Doctor answers your questions about Windows 10, building PCs, and waiting for SSDs</h3><h3></h3><h5>Windows 10 32-bit?</h5><p>My business requires I use older software that will not run on any 64-bit OS. This program runs very well on Windows 7 when it’s installed as a 32-bit OS. Will Windows 10 be available in 32-bit trim for those of us who helped the PC industry get started? &mdash;Dennis Quicker</p><p><strong>The Doctor Responds:</strong> Yes, Dennis. Win10 will be made available as a 32-bit OS. Right now, Microsoft’s saying you need 1GB of RAM to run the 32-bit preview version or 2GB for 64-bit. There’s another option you might consider, particularly if you’re on a machine with lots of memory that isn’t getting used by your 32-bit OS. Install the 64-bit build and virtualize your 32-bit workload with Hyper-V. That line-of-business program can run in its own 32-bit world, while the rest of your software enjoys the benefits of a 64-bit environment. Hyper-V is already included as part of Windows 8.1, and it’ll be improved in Windows 10. If you want to learn more about it, check out <a target="_blank" href=""></a></p><h5>Time to Upgrade</h5><p>Hi, your magazine is great! It’s actually the first PC-oriented publication that caught my interest (I’ve been a console gamer since Pong). WoW got me into the world of PCs, and I’m loving SWTOR. Anyway, on to my query. I have an Asus G60VX laptop with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M, 4GB of RAM, and Windows 7 64-bit. I bought it at Best Buy for a song back in ‘09, and it still runs like new. Is there any way for me to upgrade the hardware, or should I just sell it and buy a new one? Thanks, you have a new subscriber! &mdash;Eric Buck</p><p><strong>The Doctor Responds:</strong> Talk about a blast from the past, Eric. That system sports a Core 2 Duo processor and its GeForce graphics module includes 1GB of DDR3 memory. While the Doc considers himself an enthusiast and is always eager to swap out mechanical storage for solidstate, in this case it’s probably better to enjoy your machine the way it sits and consider saving up for something a little more modern. If you enjoy The Old Republic now, on a G92b-based GPU, just imagine jumping forward three generations to something like a GeForce GTX 965M or 970M.</p><h5>The Do-It-All Build</h5><p>I’m looking to build a new PC for somewhere between $1,500 and $2,000. It’ll mostly be for gaming, but I’ll also be compiling software on it. Do you have any recommendations on what to use? I see builds in your magazine all of the time, but they aren’t tailored to the way I want to go. &mdash;Viper Locc</p><p><strong>The Doctor Responds:</strong> As I’m sure you can imagine, the Doc receives a lot of requests for build help. You’d think they would be easy to answer. But they aren’t. Particularly when they’re light on important information. Does form factor matter? Do you care more about looks than speed? How much data does this machine need to house? So, the Doc will answer your question as if he were building a new PC between $1,500 and $2,000.</p><p>Balance is the most important concept to consider as you pick your parts. A bottleneck imposed by any one component will limit performance and detract from an otherwise enjoyable experience. Because you specifically called out software development, Viper, the Doc would start with an Intel Core i7-5820K sporting six cores and 15MB of shared L3 cache. It’s an unlocked processor, so you have the opportunity to overclock beyond 4GHz with a good cooler. That CPU needs to drop into an X99-based motherboard. Take your pick&mdash;they range from under $200 to over $600, though you don’t need to spend big. Asrock, Gigabyte, and MSI all have affordable options the Doc would recommend. Of course, you need a quadchannel DDR4 memory kit to maximize bandwidth, and those get pretty pricey. G.Skill sells four 4GB modules for around $175. They’re rated for 2,400 MT/s, though higher data rates are typically easy to achieve through overclocking. Next up is graphics. A GeForce GTX 980 will give you amazing performance at up to around 2560x1440 in even the most demanding games. A couple of GeForce GTX 970s should handle 4K well.</p><p>The storage subsystem is a matter of personal preference. You definitely want an SSD in there, and I’d consider the 250GB Crucial MX200 to be a baseline for just over $100. Add a 2 or 3TB mechanical disk for less than $100 and you have a fairly capable tiered storage setup able to hold your response-sensitive apps (like games) and user data (like movies and music).</p><p>Back all of that hardware up with a high-quality power supply in the 750 to 800W range. Corsair’s CX750 would get the job done for around $80. Don’t forget a capable cooler for the CPU&mdash;closed-loop liquid and big air solutions are equally viable, though you can expect to pay more for the former.</p><p>That takes you up to around $1,600, assuming you go the GTX 980 route, leaving a bit of wiggle room to figure out if you need a new chassis, optical drive, operating system, or monitor. If that well-balanced configuration isn’t tailored to the way you want to go, you’ll need to send the Doc more specific guidance.</p><h5>SSD Waiting Game</h5><p>Hello Doctor, I have a new (to me) Toshiba P55-A5312 laptop with a fourth-gen Core i5 processor and 750GB hard drive with 16GB RAM and Windows 8.1 (with Linux as the other OS). It’s very quiet except for the disk making noise and running slowly. I have another Toshiba laptop with an older third-generation Core CPU and Samsung 840 Pro inside. It’s wonderful. Now I find myself wanting to upgrade the newer notebook’s hard drive to an SSD.</p><p>Should I wait for the next generation of SSDs to upgrade it, or will Samsung’s 850 Pro be more than enough? Can old laptops even take advantage of the speed offered by new M.2 SSDs? I know it’s much easier to upgrade a desktop using higher-bandwidth PCIe cards. &mdash;Adam</p><p><strong>The Doctor Responds:</strong> Don’t wait, Adam. From what the Doc can see, Toshiba’s P55-A5312 only has a SATA interface. The fastest SSDs available (including the 850 Pro you mentioned) already saturate 6Gb/s links, and that’s when you benchmark with a high-end desktop platform. The Core i5-4200U in your machine is one of Intel’s low-power 15W parts. It won’t push the kind of I/O needed to expose a modern SSD’s performance ceiling anyway. But the notebook assuredly would benefit from a move to solid-state storage instead of that 5,400rpm disk.</p><p>There’s one other thing to keep in mind as you shop for future upgrades: M.2 doesn’t necessarily translate to faster storage. The specification facilitates legacy SATA connectivity, which isn’t any faster than existing 2.5-inch drives, SATA Express using AHCI, which at least puts the device on a PCI Express link, and SATA Express with NVMe. That last option is where you’ll see the next revolution in storage. Unfortunately, the ecosystem isn’t quite ready.</p><h5>Whitelist Woes</h5><p>I sure miss the Dog. Perhaps he would have warned me about the whitelist on my HP Pavilion DV7 4080US laptop. I wanted to replace its Intel 802.11n card with a newer accapable wireless device. Piece of cake, right? But it can’t be done because the BIOS doesn’t have the card I want in its list of approved options. How do I go about removing that check without bricking my laptop? &mdash;Frank Miller</p><p><strong>The Doctor Responds:</strong> The Doc is sure that HP has its reasons for limiting the cards you can swap into its laptops (compatibility issues, perhaps?), but he agrees this is an unfortunate approach on an open PC platform. Don’t feel singled-out though&mdash;other OEMs employ similar strategies to prevent customers from adding untested hardware.</p><p>There are ways around the whitelist, though they are by no means trivial. You’ve likely found the forum threads online that describe how to either add your card’s device ID to the whitelist or remove the check process altogether. Many of the folks who try modifying their firmware do damage them in the process. What’s more, the Doc cannot find a single example of someone successfully modding the DV7 4080US. Proceed with this one at your own risk.</p><h5>An Upgrade Gotcha</h5><p>Dear Doc, I’ve an aging HP 6000 Pro small form factor PC that my family uses for gaming and other tasks. Though it’s a bit long in the tooth, I hope to get another year or so out of it before I shell out the cash for a replacement.</p><p>I realize its current specs are holding performance back, but I’m looking for your opinion to gauge whether I should install a few upgrades to try extending its life. Currently, it’s running Win7 Pro x64 and has an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400, 4GB of DDR3 (in a single-channel configuration), a 1TB Hitachi hard drive, GeForce GT 610 with 1GB of DDR3, and a 240W power supply.</p><p>I am thinking about buying a Zotac GeForce GTX 750 card with 1GB of GDDR5. It seems to be the fastest low-profile card out there that doesn’t need an external power connector. Along with the GPU, I’d also add another 4GB memory module for dual-channel operation. Do you suppose the power supply has enough maximum output to support this setup? Would the upgrade be worthwhile? &mdash;Jason Grant</p><p><strong>The Doctor Responds:</strong> Your head is definitely in the right place, Jason. Adding a little more graphics horsepower and system memory would have a positive impact on that machine’s gaming performance. Nvidia’s GeForce GT 610 is rated for 29W, while the GeForce GTX 750 is a 55W card. Your Core 2 Quad is a 95W processor, so it’d be natural to guess that a 240W power supply could handle all of the hardware, even under full load. And the motherboard does in fact support a second 4GB DIMM.<br> <br>Dig a little deeper into HP’s specifications, though. There are two versions of the 6000 Pro&mdash;a micro-tower and the small form factor chassis. Both include 16-lane PCIe slots. The former is available with a 320W power supply, while yours, as you know, is limited to 240W. That difference is significant. The micro-tower offers 75W of output on its 16-lane link, while yours can only do 35W. In other words, the GTX 750 likely won’t work; the GeForce GT 610 already comes close to maxing out the slot’s power. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.</p> Windows 10's Xbox Social Network's Xbox app for Windows 10Mon, 27 Jul 2015 15:00:21 +0000 10xbox <p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Xbox One 0"></p><h3>Microsoft's Xbox app for Windows 10</h3><p> If you want to be a serious player in the PC gaming arena, you need to have the funds to back the hardware requirements. Sure, you can play on outdated hardware and get 20 frames per second. Sure, you can save a few bucks and purchase discounted hardware&nbsp;to meet&nbsp;the minimum system requirements. But deep down inside, PC gamers simply don’t want to cut corners. They want the best imagery the current gaming engines can provide, just like their fellow console owners.</p><p> So, where are we going with this? Good question. Looking back over the last decade, it appeared that Microsoft really didn’t care for the PC gamer. The company’s primary focus, it seems, has been on the Xbox console owner. The thing is, Microsoft knows PC gamers feel this way, which is why we’re hearing so much about the upcoming Windows 10 serving as a gaming platform. The company wants to right the wrongs, and is doing so with one small step forward: the Xbox app for Windows 10.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Xbox App Home"></p><p> The Xbox app is broken down into ten components: the gamer’s profile, Home, My Games, Messages, Activity alerts, Achievements, Game DVR, Store, Connect, and Settings. The menu to access these components is provided on the left and can be expanded by clicking on a small button&nbsp;with three lines at the top of the app. The Xbox app also provides a main window where users get all of their information and a list of friends, followers, and recent players lined up on the right. Honestly, the layout reminds me of Facebook.</p><p> For starters, the user’s Profile page includes information such as recent activity, achievements, game clips that are shared with friends, and an option to see what everyone else on your friends list is doing; users can also follow any game they want from any game hub. For instance, click on a friend and you’ll see his/her last game played, achievements that were unlocked, and more. To show support, you can “like” a post by clicking on a heart icon, share the post in a message or your activity feed, leave a comment, and make a report if the post is inappropriate.</p><p> Again, I’m reminded of Facebook. Essentially, Microsoft has created a game-focused social network that only Windows 10 and Xbox console owners can access. The Home page seems to back up that idea, showing the activity feed front and center along with a list of games the player recently launched, a list of Featured Games such as <em>Halo: Spartan Strike</em> that is linked to the Windows Store, and so on. There’s even a space at the top of the activity feed for updating the gamer’s status, just like Facebook.</p><p> Moving on, the “My games” section lists all games installed locally on the Windows 10 PC as well as games installed from Windows Store. Essentially, gamers really don’t need to keep shortcuts on the desktop as they can load up the Xbox app, locate their game (Steam, EA Origin, etc.) and press Play. There’s really nothing special going on here; this section is merely a launcher and at this time really doesn’t play into the Xbox achievements and sharing aspect of the Xbox app, unless the game was purchased in Windows Store, that is.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Xbox App Game Dvr"></p><p> That said, let’s skip down to the meat of the Xbox app: the Game DVR. Here you can record videos and take screenshots of games played on Windows 10. As of this article, the function isn’t working as expected. I tried to share three games to my Xbox buddies: <em>Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, BioShock Infinite,</em> and my current obsession, <em>Wolfenstein: The New Order</em>. I know for a fact that&nbsp;all three are offered on Xbox One, so these games should be easy to share, right?</p><p> For starters, typing Win + G on the keyboard will bring up a bar overlay. This bar doesn’t sit on the screen for very long and provides quick access to functions like recording a video and taking screenshots. The problem is that for some reason the Xbox app functions don’t always work. For <em>Diablo III: Reaper of Souls</em>, the only way the overlay would work was if the game was set in Fullscreen/Windowed mode. The same was true for <em>BioShock Infinite</em>. Note that for both games, I disabled Steam’s overlay just in case there would be a conflict. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the Xbox overlay to work at all in <em>Wolfenstein: The New Order</em>.</p><p> What’s also unfortunate is that I can’t share my <em>Diablo III</em> and <em>BioShock Infinite</em> screens to my friends. According to the Xbox app, these two games “can’t be shared because we don’t recognize the game.” The app confirms that clips and screenshots from games can indeed be shared on Xbox Live and that I should try a newer game. I didn’t find a newer game, but I did manage to get a <em>Halo: Spartan Assault </em>screenshot to share to all of my Xbox buddies.</p><p> That said, because <em>Wolfenstein: The New Order</em> could be considered a “newer” game, I decided to cheat. I re-enabled the Steam overlay and grabbed a screenshot. I located the image locally and then copied it over to the folder where Game DVR stores all the images and clips. I renamed the image, gave it a PNG extension, and went back into the Xbox app. Did the screen show up in the app? No.</p><p> So, what’s the deal? According to <a href="">Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc</a>, “you can upload your local game clips and screenshots for Windows Store games to your shared collection on Xbox Live&hellip; You can capture game clips and screenshots for non–Windows Store games and access them via Game DVR.”</p><p> There you go. Mystery solved: You can share games if they’re purchased from Windows Store. Perhaps one day Microsoft will expand this feature to all PC games that are installed on a Windows 10 PC and have identical copies in the Xbox One library such as <em>Diablo III</em> and <em>BioShock Infinite</em>.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Xbox App Connected 2"></p><p> As for connecting the Xbox app to the Xbox One console, it’s rather easy&mdash;just make sure that you’re on the same access point. In other words, if you have a network extender installed, make sure both the Windows 10 PC and the console are connected to that device or connected to the network router.</p><p> Once connected to the console, the app provides controls including an on-screen game controller, a remote control for watching TV, and a volume button. As for the streaming options, users have a choice of testing the Xbox One connection, disconnecting, connecting automatically, turning off the console, and forgetting the console.</p><p> Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the streaming aspect to work. “To continue, sign in on your console using this account,” the Xbox app kept telling me even though I signed in to the Xbox One and the&nbsp;Windows 10 Xbox app <a href="">using the same gamertag</a>. A call to Microsoft revealed that an update to the Xbox One will be released around July 29 when Windows 10 is officially released. Right now, the only streaming going on seems to be within the company’s private beta.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Xbox App Achievements"></p><p> Moving on, the next components on the Xbox app list should be self-explanatory. In the Messages section you’ll see all messages sent back and forth to those on the Friends list. “Activity alerts” show the most recent activity on the account such as adding a friend or playing a game, and the Achievements section shows your achievement progress on all compatible games. The Store link simply pulls up the Games section in Windows Store.</p><p> Finally, we have the Settings section, which is broken down into three sub-sections: General,&nbsp;Game DVR, and Game Streaming, the latter of which allows the user to encode video at High, Medium, and Low resolutions. Under General, gamers can switch on or off a number of features such as the Live Tile, notifications stating that your favorite friends have jumped online, when friends begin a Twitch streaming session, and when a new message is received. There’s also a Privacy section that takes you to</p><p> The Game DVR has a number of settings starting with Keyboard shortcuts. There are five that can be used to record: Open Game bar, Record that, Start/stop recording, Take screenshot, and Show/hide recording timer. All five of these have a default setting that includes the Windows key but the app allows the user to change these if needed.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Xbox App Settings2"></p><p> In addition to the keyboard settings, players have an option to allow the Game DVR to record in the background while he/she is playing a game. A maximum recording time can also be set, although by default a clip can last an hour (the maximum is two hours and the minimum is 30 minutes). Finally, users can set the location where clips are stored, how the video is encoded (standard or high), and whether audio will be recorded. If the user chooses capture audio, the quality settings can range from 96Kb/s to 192Kb/s.</p><p> As mentioned earlier, the new Xbox app feels like a social network for gamers. What we’d like to see is Facebook integration so that gamers can post their screenshots and clips on the popular social network. But right now, it seems that Microsoft is (understandably) focused on bridging the gap between its Xbox and Windows PC communities. Hopefully, that bridge will grow to the point where we see Twitter and Facebook support.</p><p> All in all, Microsoft is taking a huge step forward in recognizing the wallets of serious&nbsp;PC gamers with not only the Xbox app, but the Windows 10 platform itself, which will play exclusive host to DirectX 12. Will these two solutions be enough to recapture the eyes and hearts of the dedicated PC gamer community, or will these players continue to stick with Windows 7 and Windows 8.1? Only time will tell.</p><p> With this report, keep in mind that we tested the Xbox app and Windows 10 Build 10240 before the actual launch that takes place later this week. We’ll take the Xbox streaming bit for a hands-on ride once the launch dust settles and both Windows 10 and Xbox One are ready to play nice with each other.</p><p> <a href="">What you need to run Windows 10<br> </a><a href="">The New Settings 'App' in Windows 10<br> </a><a href="">Windows 10 Start Menu: The Details<br> </a><a href="">Windows 10 Vs. Windows 8.1: The Major Differences<br> </a><a href="">The Top 7 Reasons To Upgrade to Windows 10</a></p> Leaked Skylake Slides Point to Significant Graphics Performance Gains could be more significant than those observed during the move from Haswellto Broadwell.Mon, 27 Jul 2015 08:40:41 +0000 <h3> Intel is expected to unveil Skylake at next month’s Gamescom trade show </h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Skylake Intel"></p><p>Intel’s soon-to-be-unveiled Skylake microarchitecture could deliver significant performance improvements over its predecessor, particularly in the graphics department. That is if a series of purportedly leaked slides published by&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Fanless Tech</a> are genuine.</p><p> According to one of the slides (included above), the highest all-round gains will be seen in Y-Series (mobile) chips, which will apparently deliver up to 41 percent faster graphics and up to 17 percent faster CPU performance than their previous-generation counterparts. As for other variants, we could see up to 34 percent faster graphics and up to 10 percent faster CPU performance with the U-Series (mobile); up to 16 percent faster graphics and up to 11 percent faster CPU performance with the H-Series (mobile); and up to 28 percent faster graphics and up to 11 percent faster CPU performance with the S-Series (mobile).</p><p> A “tock” in Intel’s tick-tock release cadence, Skylake is a completely new microarchitecture and not a mere die-shrink of a previous generation. Intel is expected to officially unveil the 14nm chips at Gamescom in early August.</p> Half-Life Caught Running on Android Wear's how you can run the original Half-Life game on Android Wear.Sat, 25 Jul 2015 04:11:41 +0000 <iframe width="500" height="281" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Popular YouTuber Dave Bennett <a href="">recently published instructions</a> on how to make <em>Half-Life</em> run on Android Wear. While a smartwatch screen is rather small for such an epic game, the idea of getting Valve’s sacred shooter running on a wearable device just&nbsp;sounds really cool.</p><p>“Trying to play a game on Android wear is a nightmare within itself,” Bennett admits. “The app offers touchscreen controls, but on a 1.65 inch screen, they are almost impossible to use. Also, swiping to the left causes the screen to go back to the previous window.”</p><p>Despite the small frame, he admitted that <em>Half-Life </em>runs better than expected. The frame count ranges from 30 FPS to a mere 2 FPS, the latter of which is due to graphics-heavy affects like special lightening and lava. Honestly, that should be expected with today’s wearables hardware.</p><p>To get <em>Half-Life</em> up and running, gamers need to original <em>Half-Life</em> game, the SDLash Apk and Extras.7z. The steps include enabling USB debugging, installing SDLash3D and creating the Xash and Valve folders. Bennett said that transferring the <em>Half-Life</em> files over to the Android Wear device will take around two hours.</p><p>In addition to Android Wear,&nbsp;Bennett said in his blog&nbsp;that he’s currently working on a port of<em> Half-Life</em> for Android. Take note that Valve and Nvidia have already published <em>Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One</em> and <em>Portal</em>. Like the unofficial <em>Doom</em> and <em>Quake</em> games on Android, Bennett will likely provide the ported engine and customers will provide the data files from the retail version of the games.</p><p>Valve Software’s original <em>Half-Life</em> game launched on November 1998 using a modified version of the <em>Quake</em> engine called GoldSrc. The game follows Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist, as he escapes a research facility and discovers what his teleportation experiment has unleashed in the real world. The game has spawned an even more popular sequel along with <em>Episodes One</em> and <em>Two</em>. &nbsp;</p> Hack Causes Chrysler to Recall 1.4M Cars hackers proved that they can take control of a Jeep Cherokee.Fri, 24 Jul 2015 21:06:47 +0000 <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="1500 Bighorn Lonestar Flame Red CC"></p><p>Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) <a href=";jsessionid=4FFFAABC0355456E4C3B01FF87D9EEE0?&amp;id=16849&amp;mid=">announced on Friday</a> that it is currently recalling around 1.4 million U.S. vehicles that have a specific 8.4-inch touch-based radio installed. The recall is completely voluntary, however, the company insists that customers receive the software update to fix a security problem that was pointed out by a recent article <a href="">written by Wired</a>.</p><p>“Customers affected by the recall will receive a USB device that they may use to upgrade vehicle software, which provides additional security features independent of the network-level measures,” the company said on Friday. “Alternately, customers may visit <a href=""></a> to input their Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) and determine if their vehicles are included in the recall.”</p><p>The Wired report centers on a Jeep Cherokee and two hackers: Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek. They managed to take control of the vehicle while it was moving 70 mph in downtown St. Louis. They manipulated the dashboard functions, the breaks and so on. Even more, the laptop that was used to gain access to the Jeep Cherokee resided ten miles away from the “testing” site.</p><p>“The software manipulation addressed by this recall required unique and extensive technical knowledge, prolonged physical access to a subject vehicle and extended periods of time to write code,” the company added. “No defect has been found. FCA US is conducting this campaign out of an abundance of caution.”</p><p>Wired reports that Miller and Valasek plan to reveal a portion of their exploit on the Internet next month during the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. That said, FCA is urging customers to get the software update to prevent hackers from taking over their vehicles. Customers that have questions should call the customer care center here in the U.S. at 1-800-853-1403.</p><p>Here is the list of automobiles that are affected by the exploit:</p><p>2013-2015 MY Dodge Viper specialty vehicles<br> 2013-2015 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups<br> 2013-2015 Ram 3500, 4500, 5500 Chassis Cabs<br> 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Cherokee SUVs<br> 2014-2015 Dodge Durango SUVs<br> 2015 MY Chrysler 200, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans<br>2015 Dodge Challenger sports coupes</p><p><em>Image provided by FCA</em></p> Takedown Notices to Google Has Studio's Own Links companies are listing their own machines in takedown notices to Google.Fri, 24 Jul 2015 20:17:14 +0000 <p>Well <a href="">this should be embarrassing</a>. Typically media owners like movie studios and record labels cough up loads of IP addresses that lead to pirated versions of their content. These companies then request that the links be removed from Google’s search engine. The result is a little message at the bottom of search results stating that Google removed content at the request of the content right holders.</p><p>However, according to a report by The Next Web, several media companies are sending Google takedown notices with links that point back to content stored on their computers. For instance, Universal Pictures France is requesting that Google remove links to <em>Jurassic World</em>, but the movie is hosted by a BitTorrent client residing at <a href=""></a>, which is a system’s “localhost” address within Universal Pictures France.</p><p>The report also points to NBC Universal, which requested that Google remove links leading back to a copy of <em>47 Ronkin</em>. A list provided by the report shows fifteen addresses within the NBC Universal umbrella. Even more, Workman Publishing has them both beat, requesting that Google remove 108 links to the <em>Life of Pi</em> audio book that resides within Workman’s own network.</p><p>As the report points out, some of these submissions might be “innocent mistakes” as the media companies may be using BitTorrent to catch those who are looking for illegal copies of music, movies and so on. However, media companies seem more intent of gathering up all IP addresses that are possibly infringing on copyright and assuming Google will sort them all out.</p><p>What’s interesting is that companies are going out of their way to remove links of pirated material from the likes of Google and Yahoo, yet there seems to be evidence that these same companies can’t keep their employees from illegally distributed copyrighted content. Perhaps said companies should put a bigger focus on the leaks rather than dish out a huge list of IP addresses that points to their own machines.</p> Newegg Daily Deals: AMD FX-6300 Vishera, Corsair 750W Power Supply, and More! things are as therapeutic as building a new PC. Unfortunately, it can also be expensive, though it doesn't have to be, especially if you run with an AMD foundation.Fri, 24 Jul 2015 18:13:50 +0000 dealsNeweggNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="AMD FX-6300 Vishera"></p><p><strong>Top Deal:</strong></p><p>Few things are as therapeutic as building a new PC. Unfortunately, it can also be expensive, though it doesn't <em>have</em> to be, especially if you run with an AMD foundation. To prove it, check out today's top deal for an <a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-CPU-N82E16819113286-_-0724&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555&amp;cm_sp=&amp;PID=7744002&amp;SID=" target="_blank">AMD FX-6300 Vishera</a> for <strong>$100</strong> with $1 shipping (normally $110 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNR22</strong>]). Computing has obviously come a long way, as we're at a point where a Benny (and a Washington) gets you a six-core desktop processor shipped to your door!</p><p><strong>Other Deals:</strong></p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-PSU-N82E16817139051-_-0724&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Corsair CX750M 750W Modular Active PFC Power Supply</a> for <strong>$75</strong> with free shipping (normally $80 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNR23</strong>]; additional $20 Mail-in rebate)</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-INT-HDD-N82E16822148840-_-0724&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM 3.5-inch Internal Hard Drive</a> for <strong>$45</strong> with free shipping (normally $51 - use coupon code: [<strong>ESCAVNR24</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-MEMORY-N82E16820231569-_-0724&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 32GB (4x8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory</a> for <strong>$165</strong> with free shipping (normally $180 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNR33</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-COOLING-N82E16835118074-_-0724&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Zalman 135mm Long life bearing CPU Cooler Blue LED</a> for <strong>$40</strong> with free shipping (normally $50 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNR42</strong>]; additional $20 Mail-in rebate)</p> Cougar's 230M and 250M Mice Promise Pro Gaming Performance for Cheap mice from Cougar start at just $20.Fri, 24 Jul 2015 17:56:41 +0000 <h3>Cheap thrills</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Cougar 230M 250M"></p><p> Don't have $80 or more to spend on a gaming mouse? Cougar today announced a pair of budget friendly rodents, the <a href="" target="_blank">230M</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">250M</a>, which carry MSRPs of $20 and $30, respectively. Despite the inexpensive price points, Cougar claims these are pro level gaming mice.</p><p> Both the 230M and 250M sport ambidextrous designs. Other shared features include a 1,000Hz polling rate, Omron switches, a "gaming grade" scroll wheel with backlighting, and programmable buttons.</p><p> Starting with the 230M, Cougar says it will appeal to purists who care most about quality and accuracy. That pitch translates into a 3,200 DPI sensor that's adjustable to four fixed levels (400, 800, 1600, and 3200 DPI) and, well, not much else.</p><p> The 250M kicks things up a notch with half a dozen programmable buttons (including two thumb paddles), 4,000 DPI sensor that's adjustable on the fly to user configurable levels, and internal memory to store up to three different profiles.</p><p> Both the 230M and 250M are available now, though their street prices are bit inflated at the moment. Newegg has the 230M listed at $25 with $1 shipping, and the 250M at $37 with $1 shipping.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Dell Commits to Shipping Pre-Ordered Windows 10 PCs on July 28th says that pre-ordered Windows 10 PCs will arrive on July 29, the day of the OS's release.Fri, 24 Jul 2015 16:51:24 +0000 10 <h3>Getting Windows 10 on day of release</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Windows 10 Dell"></p><p> Microsoft will begin doling out Windows 10 on July 29 in waves, and depending on where you are in line, you may not receive the update until the next day or later. That was also going to be the case with pre-built Windows 10 PCs from Dell, though not anymore.</p><p> Dell began <a href="">taking pre-orders</a> for Windows 10 systems in mid-June. At the time, the OEM said it would ship those systems out on July 29. However, I received an email from Dell today saying it's bumping up the ship date to July 28.</p><p> "Dell will be one of the first OEMs shipping Windows 10 devices. Dell systems will start shipping on July 28th so customers can get their PCs first and on the same day as Microsoft's launch (July 29th)," Dell stated.</p><p> The OEM also stated that it is offering free next-business-day shipping for a <a href="" target="_blank">bunch of devices</a> with Windows 10 pre-installed.</p><p> That said, if you're willing to wait until launch day to order a system from Dell (assuming you're going the pre-built route), configuration options will more than double to nearly 70 variations.</p><p> HP also has select Windows 10 systems up for pre-order that will ship out July 28th.</p><p> ,"I want to clearly explain how HP will deliver new devices with Windows 10 pre-installed to customers. Right now, a customer can buy select PCs with Windows 10 directly from and it will ship on July 28, HP's Mike Nash stated in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>. We are offering free next-day shipping so customers will receive the device on July 29. Customers will start seeing HP devices running Windows 10 in-store at select retailers beginning August 2."</p><p> As for Dell's in-store availability, the company says it will have the most configurations available from retailers on July 29, including a dozen Windows 10 solutions at Best Buy.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build It: Assembling the Perfect LAN Party Gaming Box some meaty gaming muscle on the go with this portable powerhouseFri, 24 Jul 2015 07:00:00 +0000 a PClan partymini-itx <p><em>This article was published in the April 2015 issue of </em>Maximum PC<em>. For more trusted reviews and feature stories,<a href=""> subscribe here</a>.</em></p><p>Check out our full review of the sweet <a href="">Corsair case</a> used in this build.</p><h3>Get some meaty gaming muscle on the go with this portable powerhouse</h3><p><em>Length of Time: 2-4 Hours | Difficulty: Medium</em></p><h5>The Mission</h5><p>Last month we built a portable PC featuring the Sapphire ITX Compact R9 285&mdash;an AMD Radeon GPU which is roughly on par with a GeForce GTX 960, but short enough to fit in an ITX case. To keep things evenhanded, we’re going with Nvidia this month. Our Asus GTX 970 DC Mini is at a higher tier of performance and also features twice as much VRAM. (You may have heard recently that the 970’s VRAM is divided into two pools, with the smaller one performing more slowly, but it’s only a few percentage points different.) AMD has the Radeon R9 290, which performs about the same as a 970, but it requires a lot more power, and there isn’t one short enough to fit into an ITX case.</p><p>Generally speaking, these compact videocards have changed portable PC gaming a lot. Not all of the systems they go into are made equal, though, so we have to survey the landscape periodically to figure out what’s hot and what’s not.</p><p><img class="" style="display: block; margin: auto;" data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="MPC110.rd"></p><h5>LAN of Opportunity</h5><p><img class="pulled-image pull-right" style="margin: 0px 0px 10px 10px;" data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Ingredients"></p><p>Option for its modularity and low price, but we decided to go with a cube shape this time, instead of a shoebox. This makes the case easier to balance when it has an integrated handle, like we see on this Corsair Graphite 380T. Thanks to its larger dimensions in the front, the 380T can also fit a 200mm intake fan, though it ships with a 140mm unit in front (and a 120mm exhaust fan in back). You can also fit two 120mm fans on the side, or a 240mm radiator. We, of course, went with the radiator option, specifically the trusty Corsair Hydro H100i. We had one handy, and using the same brand for the CPU cooler and the case tends to cut down on incompatibility.</p><p>The 380T can fit a videocard up to 11.4 inches long, but we preferred the shorty GTX 970 to give us some room to breathe. This plugs into an Asus Maximus VII Impact, which is a fancy ITX mobo that uses Intel’s Z97 chipset. On CPU duty is the Core i7-4790K, which was the beefiest chip we could put in this mobo. Powering the whole shebang is a gold-rated Cooler Master V550. For storage, we have just a single SSD, since this unit is purpose-built for LAN gaming. The 380T will fit up to two 3.5-inch drives, though, and up to four 2.5-inch drives.</p><h5>1. Method to the Madness</h5><p><img class="" style="margin: auto; display: block;" data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="MPC110.rd buildit.1"></p><p>Mini-ITX cases, in our experience, all tend to have a number of their own little quirks and unusual deviations. Luckily, however, they generally all make sense when placed in context. This plate, for example, craftily unscrews from the back and allows you to slide in a power supply through the rear of the case. If you’re wondering why, well, it’s because this case doesn’t have enough room to install the PSU from the side.</p><p>The 380T can take a PSU up to 180mm long, but you’ll have to account for PSU cables, too, if you want to keep hold of the drive cage that’s right next to it. That’s why we opted for the V550 PSU, which is is 140mm long&mdash; we wouldn’t recommend pushing very far past 150mm. Connect your modular cables before sliding the PSU in, too, as it’s cramped on the other side.</p><h5>2. Room with a View</h5><p><img class="" style="display: block; margin: auto;" data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="MPC110.rd buildit.2"></p><p>The two side windows of the 380T come off just by pulling on their handles. As you can see from the topdown photo, though, the mobo is obscured, leading to some tactical considerations. For example, your CPU cooler must be attached to the mobo before they go in the case or you won’t be able to screw down the cooler. You can get around it with a short enough screwdriver, but then you don’t have much torque.</p><p>If you’re using a cooler with a radiator attached, you must pull the rad through first. Our 240mm rad also barely fit lengthwise, though the case could accommodate one that’s thicker than normal. For the best airflow, we’d recommend pointing the rad’s fans on the inside, blowing outward and through it.</p><h5>3. I'm Your Biggest Fan</h5><p><img class="" style="display: block; margin: auto;" data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="MPC110.rd buildit.3"></p><p>To pop off the front grill , just push its upper-left and upper-right corners until you hear them click, and it’s released. The stock 140mm intake fan can be replaced with two 120mm fans or one 200mm fan&mdash;the largest option will be the quietest (though you can get high-performance fans at any size). The round holes on each corner are for threading the fan’s power cable back into the case. This fan lights up with a white LED, but there’s a tiny switch next to the handle in the top of the case that can toggle that off. And just FYI, there’s no room in front for another radiator.</p><h5>4. Cool Customers</h5><p><img class="" style="display: block; margin: auto;" data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="MPC110.rd buildit.4"></p><p>From the other side of the case you can see just how tightly the CPU cooler’s radiator is tucked in there. The tubes also have to be oriented to go into the rad on the far end of the case. If you try to orient the tubes to come out near the motherboard, they will be obstructed by the case’s exhaust fan. You could remove the exhaust fan, but you’d sacrifice a lot of airflow. And we didn’t notice it at first, but a partially hidden screw also allows you to remove the drive cage, so you could install a pump and a small reservoir if you wanted to do a custom water loop. You can also get pumps that integrate their own res, but a res that small also restricts how much you can cool&mdash;you’d be able to do a GPU or a CPU, but probably not both.</p><h5>5. Control Freaks</h5><p><img class="" style="display: block; margin: auto;" data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="MPC110.rd buildit.5"></p><p>You might wonder how a Mini-ITX case could cost $150. One of the reasons is the integrated three-speed fan controller. In our scenario, we used this to control the front and rear fan. We could’ve plugged in the CPU cooler pump as well, but you want to either run that at full speed, or let it use PWM temperature measurements to regulate its own speed. So we plugged the pump into the spare motherboard fan header instead. The cable on the stock exhaust fan is plenty long enough to reach these connectors. There’s a fat button on the top of the case with a fan icon on it, and you just press that to cycle through each speed setting.</p><p>The controller itself gets juice through a SATA power connector, so make sure you’ve a spare before you install all your SATA-based storage devices. Our CPU cooler also uses a SATA power connector, so we’d need a second cable of that type to install more than two SATA drives.</p><h5><br>6. Popping Locks</h5><p><img class="" style="display: block; margin: auto;" data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="MPC110.rd buildit.6"></p><p>Sometimes the trick isn’t w ith the case, but with the hardware inside it. During the course of building a PC, especially one as unique as this one, you will often have to undo a few steps and work your way back. If you aren’t familiar with this motherboard, that could prove a little challenging. Most boards use locking mechanisms on the videocard slot to make sure the card doesn’t slide out accidentally. This one has an actual spring-loaded latch with a small knob that goes through a notch in the card, rather than a lever-like handle that you can just push out of the way (usually with a spare slot cover).</p><p><em><strong></strong></em></p><p><img class="pulled-image pull-right" style="margin: 0px 0px 10px 10px;" data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="GutShotPage71"></p><p><em><strong>1.) Here’s the switch to turn off the LED on the front intake fan. You can’t reach it from outside, but the side panel pops off easily. 2.) The Asus GTX 970 DC Mini needs only one 8-pin PCI Express power cable to run, so it doesn’t need a fancy power supply. 3.) You have nearly five inches of space between the end of this videocard and the front of the case, so your cable routing can still be a little relaxed. 4.) This is a rotated drive cage that can hold two 2.5-inch drives. We’d definitely recommend right-angle SATA data cables here.</strong></em></p><h3>Sunny Side Up</h3><p>One of the nice things about these compact ITX cases is that you can rotate and tip them easily, during and after the build process. The side panels on the Corsair 380T also come off with a flick of the wrist, so gaining access to any angle of the system is a breeze. Speaking of breezes, the large grills on the panels, plus the large front grill on the front and the exhaust fan on the back, make for some serious airflow. We had no trouble keeping this system ventilated. The shorty GTX 970 videocard did make more noise than a card of standard length, so we’d recommend a fulllength card if your ears are sensitive to that. Just make sure you stay comfortably under that 11.4-inch limit.</p><p>CPU cooler height is also limited to 150mm, which will eliminate a number of tower-style air coolers from consideration. So we’d recommend a closed-loop cooler if you can afford one and are overclocking. It has to be either 120mm or 240mm, mind; the bracket doesn’t fit 140mm or 280mm radiators or fans.</p><p><img class="" style="display: block; margin: auto;" data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Benchmarks"></p><p>We also debated whether to go with an Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU. The latter is more or less an i5 with Hyper-Threading. HT gives you four additional CPU threads, for a total of eight, but it’s not like having four extra physical cores. They’re more like a simulation. Still, since Direct3D 12 and Mantle let your videocard communicate with multiple CPU threads at the same time (DirectX 11 and earlier versions only talk to one CPU thread at a time), having a lot of threads could boost performance in future games, depending on how they handle this new feature. In the end, we were already spending nearly $1,500 on this system before we’d added the CPU, so adding a $100 premium for the i7 wasn’t a big deal.</p><p>Either way, you’ll get some pretty snappy performance from this system. It took well under 30 seconds to do a full reboot, which helps a lot when installing Windows, Windows updates, drivers, and certain software. Our GTX 970 averaged over 80fps in Batman: Arkham City with 4xMSAA and everything else maxed out (though we did disable PhysX). With a whopping 4GHz base clock, our Core i7-4790K whipped through all the benchmarks like a samurai sword (on a core count basis, that is). In fact, it might be time to retire our legendary zero-point system and replace it with something even heavier.</p> Nvidia Shield Portable Gets Lollipop Update latest Nvidia Shield Portable update brings the console to Lollipop.Fri, 24 Jul 2015 00:54:57 +0000 <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Nvidia Shield Review"></p><p>Seems like it’s been ages since Nvidia updated its first Shield device, the Shield Portable handheld console. However, it’s only been since February and that update, aka Software Upgrade 101, merely improved stability and implemented fixes that makes emulators run better than before. The latest platform release, Software Upgrade 103 launched today, is one whopper of an update.</p><p>In fact, according to Nvidia, Software Upgrade 103 brings the platform up to Android 5.1 “Lollipop.” Shield Portable owners can install the update now. However, Nvidia warns customers that the update will break some apps that were pre-installed on the console because they are not compatible with this build of Android. These include <em>Sonic 4: Episode II THD, Expendable: Rearmed</em> and the Android Browser. Miracast support has also been replaced with Chromecast.</p><p>“Please note that we also included the latest Twitch app (white Twitch icon) in this system update,” Nvidia said on Thursday. “If you previously updated the Twitch app on KitKat (purple Twitch icon), you will note after installing the new system update that you will have two Twitch apps (white and purple Twitch icons). Simply erase the purple Twitch icon as that version is no longer supported on Lollipop.”</p><p>Customers aren’t required to upgrade to Android 5.1 “Lollipop.” However, the company is providing an image of Software Upgrade 101 for those who don’t like the taste of Lollipop and want to roll back to the chocolatey KitKat. This older OS image, <a href="">listed here for downloading</a>, was originally posted on February 11, 2015. Nvidia notes that customers rolling back to KitKat will lose all data that was previously on the SHIELD Portable before the Android 5.1 upgrade.</p><p>In addition to upgrading the platform to Android 5.1, Software Upgrade 103 also smashes a bug that prevented books from being read within the Google Play Books app. </p><p>The Shield Portable launched nearly two years ago, a handheld console sporting a fresh, non-bloated install of Android 4.2.1 “Jelly Bean.” Powered by a Tegra 4 SoC, the biggest selling point is seemingly not Shield Portable&nbsp;as an Android console, but as a device that allows PC gamers with a Nvidia “Kepler” GPU to stream specific PC games to the handheld. Called Gamestream, this service costs absolutely nothing.</p><p>The Shield Portable also has access to a wide variety of PC games that can be streamed from Nvidia’s GRID-based on-demand network. This service, free for now, will charge the user a membership fee starting July 31, 2015. The company provides more than 50 PC games in high definition including <em>The Walking Dead, Batman: Arkham Origins, Borderlands, Dead Island</em> and more.</p> Bethesda's $50 Fallout Anthology is the Bomb, Drops September 29 Fallout games get packed into a mini-nuke collectible.Fri, 24 Jul 2015 00:03:11 +0000 <h3>Sweet collectible for Fallout fans</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Fallout Anthology"></p><p> If you're a diehard Fallout fan, then you've likely played through all the previous Fallout titles and still own each of them. However, if for some reason you don't still have copies around, or you're looking for a killer gift idea for that friend who has yet to discover the Fallout series, Bethesda announced an awesome <a href="" target="_blank">Fallout Anthology</a> bundle that you might be interested in.</p><p> The Fallout Anthology includes Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout Tactics, Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition, and Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition all packed into a Fat Man mini-nuke, complete with an audible bomb sound. Official add-ons are part of the package, too.</p><p> Bethesda is labeling this thing as the "complete Fallout game collection," which is true on the PC side of the equation. But if you want to get technical, it's missing Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, a 2004 title that was limited to the PlayStation 2 and original Xbox -- big whoop!</p><p> It's also missing Fallout 4, which isn't out yet -- it's set to release on November 10, 2015. However, the mini-nuke includes a slot for the game disc, in case you're planning to purchase a hard copy.</p><p> Bethesda says its Fallout Anthology will release on September 29, 2015 in North America and on October 2 across Europe. It will cost $50 "and yes, Fallout Anthology will be limited," Bethesda's Pete Hines <a href="" target="_blank">stated</a> in a Twitter post.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Newegg Daily Deals: Crucial 32GB DDR4-2133 (4x8GB), Intel Core i7-5820K, and More!'re another day closer to Intel's Skylake launch, and if you're planning to build a system around one of the new CPUs, then now's the time to plan. You may have already seen some tantalizing Z170 chipset motherboards, and if that's the route you're going, you'll need some DDR4 memory.Thu, 23 Jul 2015 18:44:45 +0000 dealsNeweggNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Crucial RAM"></p><p><strong>Top Deal:</strong></p><p>We're another day closer to Intel's Skylake launch, and if you're planning to build a system around one of the new CPUs, then now's the time to plan. You may have already seen some tantalizing <a href="">Z170 chipset motherboards</a>, and if that's the route you're going, you'll need some DDR4 memory. And if it's capacity you're after, then check out today's top deal for a <a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-MEMORY-N82E16820148861-_-0723&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">32GB kit of Crucial DDR4-2133 Desktop Memory</a> for <strong>$184</strong> with free shipping (normally $194 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNP37</strong>]). With 32GB, you should be set for a long time!</p><p><strong>Other Deals:</strong></p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-SSD-N82E16820147362-_-0723&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Samsung 850 Pro 2.5-inch 1TB SATA III 3-D Vertical Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)</a> for <strong>$460</strong> with free shipping (normally $500 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNP22</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-CPU-N82E16819117402-_-0723&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Intel Core i7-5820K Haswell-E 6-Core 3.3GHz 140W Desktop Processor</a> for <strong>$375</strong> with $2 shipping (normally $390 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNP23</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-INT-HDD-N82E16822149408-_-0723&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Toshiba 3TB 7200 RPM 3.5-inch Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive</a> for <strong>$80</strong> with free shipping (normally $95 - use coupon code: [<strong>ESCAVNP26</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-MOBO-N82E16813130790-_-0723&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">MSI 970 Gaming AM3+ AMD 970 ATX AMD Motherboard</a> for <strong>$80</strong> with $3 shipping (normally $100 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNP76</strong>])</p> Microsoft Rolls Out Windows 10 Mobile Build 10166 to Slow Ring Users weeks after releasing to Fast Ring users, Windows 10 Mobile Build 10166 is now available on the Slow Ring.Thu, 23 Jul 2015 18:34:45 +0000 10 <h3>A better performing build</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Windows 10 Mobile"></p><p> Just a little less than two weeks ago, Microsoft ended the work week by making Windows 10 Mobile Build 10166 available to Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview members signed up for Fast ring access. Now it's available to Slow ring subscribers, too.</p><p> Microsoft's Gabe Aul made the <a href="" target="_blank">announcement on Twitter</a>. Microsoft also updated its <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a> from July 10 announcing the availability to Fast ring users.</p><p> If you're unfamiliar with what Fast ring and Slow ring means, those on the Fast ring receive new test builds at a faster clip than Slow ring users. While generally stable, releases to the Fast ring might not be as polished or stable, and could be missing certain features. Once they've been tested a little more extensively, they roll out to Slow ring users.</p><p> With Build 10166, Microsoft "lots of small changes and feature tweaks." As for changes that were implemented since being released to Fast ring users, the Store in Windows 10 Mobile no longer carries a beta tag.</p><p> One of the more annoying bugs that was fixed in Build 10166 is one that affected the lock screen. Some users were having trouble accessing their phones for several minutes after an initial boot, and Build 10166 addresses that issue.</p><p> There's still no official release date for Windows 10 Mobile. Once Microsoft launches Windows 10 for desktop users, it will focus on bigger updates to Windows 10 Mobile, allowing for more significant changes and tweaks when new builds roll out.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Amiga 1000 Turns 30 Years Old the Amiga 1000 three decades after its release.Thu, 23 Jul 2015 18:05:12 +0000 <h3>Time flies</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Amiga 1000"></p><p> Kids can make you feel old, both in how fast they grow up and in those puzzled looks they give you after making a dated reference to your childhood or teen years, one that isn't understood by the current generation. If you want to test this, ask your teenager what his or her favorite Richard Pryor is.</p><p> Technology will do the same thing, though without making any confused glances in your direction. Need an example? Consider that the Amiga 1000 just turned 30 years old! That's right, if you remember playing games or doing graphics work on an Amiga 1000, then you're pulling up memories from a system that was released three decades ago.</p><p> The Amiga 1000 was a fairly badass machine for its day. It was the introductory "Amiga" model from Commodore and for those who could appreciate the hardware inside, the Amiga 1000 a drool worthy PC.</p><p> Granted, a Motorola 68000 CPU clocked at 7.15909 MHz (NTSC) or 7.09379MHz (PAL) doesn't sound impressive today, but this was this long before the days of GHz processors and multiple cores.</p><p> The Amiga 1000 also featured 256K of memory, which could be doubled by way of a memory expansion slot hidden in the front of the system, and robust graphics and sound capabilities (for the time period).</p><p> By all means, the Amiga 1000 was a high end machine, and it was priced as such -- according to <em><a href="" target="_blank">Technologizer</a></em>, it sold for $1,295, which was before adding a $500 color monitor.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Jay Miner Signature"></p><p> Hype was high for the Amiga 1000, which was unveiled at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in New York's Lincoln Center with celebrities in attendance. It made the cover of InfoWorld, along with Jay Miner, the "father of the Amiga" and one of the system's designers. In fact, his signature is engraved inside Amiga 1000 systems, along with the paw print of his dog Mitchy and signatures of other engineers.</p><p> Due to a variety of factors -- bad marketing, high price, compatibility issues -- the Amiga 1000 wasn't as popular as it should have been and goes down as arguably one of the most under-appreciated systems in history.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Twitch Begins Phasing Out Flash Player for HTML5 blow for Adobe Flash.Thu, 23 Jul 2015 17:02:44 +0000 Playerhtml5News <h3>Working towards a Flash free web</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Twitch"></p><p> I think it's safe to say that a lot of us are dreaming of the day when Adobe Flash becomes a footnote in the history of the web, but we're not there yet. However, the anti-Flash movement is certainly gaining steam. It's already dead on mobile, and earlier this month, Mozilla began <a href="">blocking Flash</a> in its Firefox browser by default due to "publicly known vulnerabilities." Now Twitch is talking about leaving Flash in the rear view mirror.</p><p> Twitch as talked the talk before, though in a <a href="" target="_blank">post to <em>Reddit</em></a>, a staff member for the live streaming video platform insists that the company is walking the walk, albeit slowly. Twitch's destination? HTML5, of course.</p><p> According to the staff member, the underlying HTML5 video playback has been undergoing internal testing for the past few months and works famously at this point. However, the challenge for Twitch in leaving Flash behind is it's used for "EVERYTHING" in the moment, in all-caps even. That means having to port every feature one-by-one into HTML/JS.</p><p> The other holdup is that browser support for MediaSource Extensions (MSE) isn't fully available for Firefox and older Internet Explorer and Safari builds.</p><p> "So, we decided to split the HTML5 player into two releases: 1) move the UI into HTML/JS and 2) move the video into HTML/JS," the staff member explained. "The new player UI is pretty swanky and we'll start rolling it out to users in a few weeks. You'll notice the new HTML interface immediately but the underlying video player will still be Flash."</p><p> Once Twitch gets to that point, it will more aggressively pursue moving to HTML5 entirely, starting with an alpha release.</p><p> While the waiting part sucks, at least there's a light at the end of the tunnel, and it's pretty promising. According to the staff member, the unoptimized HTML5 video player uses a third of the CPU of Adobe's Flash Player and a "fraction of the memory." And of course there are security benefits to moving away from Flash.</p><p> If you're rooting for Flash to fall -- and who isn't these days? -- this is a big deal. As time goes on, Flash continues to lose ground. In addition to what Mozilla did, Google killed Flash as the default player for YouTube back in January, while more recently Facebook's Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos took to Twitter to encourage Adobe "to announce the end-of-life date for Flash."</p><p> The more recent outcries are both the result of pent up anger over Flash Player's history of insecurity, as well as frustration over critical security vulnerabilities that came to light when a 400GB cache of files were stolen from Hacking Team, an Italian firm that sells surveillance and exploit software to different governments.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> The Penguin or the Egg: How To Increase Adoption Of Desktop Linux or perceived shortcomings insoftware offerings keep toomany users away from the freeOSThu, 23 Jul 2015 07:00:00 +0000 softwarelinuxopen-source software <p><em>This article was published in two installments, in the July and August 2015 issues of </em>Maximum PC<em>. For more trusted reviews and feature stories,<a href=""> subscribe here</a>.</em></p><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Penguin and Egg"></p><p> <small><em>Modified&nbsp;Creative Commons image by&nbsp;</em><a href=""><em>McKay Savage</em></a></small></p><h3>Real or perceived shortcomings in software offerings keep too many users away from the free OS</h3><p>Dual-booting Windows and Linux really sucks. It’s not because I hate Windows, either. It’s because I feel it should be unnecessary. It’s a half-measure that allows a lot of Linux users to play games or get things done.</p><p> It doesn’t have to be this way, but Linux is faced with a chicken-or-the-egg problem. Users won’t switch to Linux until their apps and games will work as expected. Companies like Adobe aren’t going to develop native Linux versions of their products unless they have a really good reason (read: they can make money).</p><p> I must’ve rewritten this next part ten times or more, so I think it’s best to come right out and say it: The Linux desktop, for the time being, needs proprietary software to draw users.</p><p> The gods were thus angered, and Richard Stallman clenched his fists in rage.</p><p> I know that sounds absolutely crazy coming from a free and open-source software advocate, but hear me out.</p><p> People dual-boot for the same reason more people don’t switch to Linux in the first place: One essential piece of software isn’t available in Linux. Never mind that Linux offers a customizable and more secure environment; never mind that the monetary cost of installing and using the OS is zero; they need that software. It’s the biggest hurdle I face when it comes to trying to make an argument for my favorite OS.</p><p> Like it or not, there are holes in the Linux desktop experience if you don’t use proprietary software. Skype and Nvidia’s video drivers are prime examples of how proprietary software fills a need for Linux users. Right now, you’re not going to grow the Linux market share by telling new users, “Sorry, you can only do it the free and open-source way.” Business users, designers, and gamers don’t want to hear that garbage. They just want to use their machine and complete the tasks they set out to do, preferably without missed sleep and skipped meals from trying to configure Wine properly.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Skype on Linux"></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>Like it or not, the proprietary Skype client is still the best option for the video chat and&nbsp;messaging service on Linux.</strong></p><p> To improve the catalog of programs available to desktop Linux, we need to grow a user base that will pay for software. That means regular users and gamers, not just hobbyists and enthusiasts. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that software companies sure as hell aren’t going to release a Linux version of their software unless it makes financial sense. Evernote is a prime example. The company isn’t developing a Linux client, as it has said numerous times, despite the howls of desperation coming from Linux users on its forums.</p><p> We as users can start sending market signals showing desktop Linux has the customers software companies are looking for. By surfing the web on Linux, we send the signal to research companies who publish statistics based on user agent strings. For gamers, using Steam on Linux sends the same type of signal to game developers.</p><p> The people who still use Windows XP (I'm&nbsp;<a href="">looking at YOU, Uncle Sam</a>) represent a great opportunity for Linux adoption. If these users try a live distribution like Ubuntu and choose to switch, they get to keep their older computer, and get a faster, more reliable experience for surfing the web, typing documents, and reading email.</p><p> There are over 2,000 games on Steam available for Linux, including Dota 2, Bioshock: Infinite, and all of Valve’s titles. That’s a pretty good number, but it’s a small share of the&nbsp;over&nbsp;12,000 titles on Steam. Also, remember that the vast majority of games are proprietary. People want to be able to play GTA V, not just Tux Racer. Releasing more titles to Linux though Steam machines or Steam for desktop Linux helps bring gamers to the OS.</p><p> Once there are enough potential customers, hardware and software vendors will have a financial incentive to support desktop Linux. When big vendors release software for Linux, more developers and users may follow. Linux gets better as more users install it as their primary OS.</p><p> If I haven’t lost you or convinced you that I’m not stark raving mad, &nbsp;I'm going to explain how the free software community can draw users to Linux next.</p><p>We don’t yet live in a world where we can ditch proprietary software and still have the same level of functionality and convenience with free software, but that world is possible. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Free Software Foundation, the organization that oversees the GNU project and pushes for a future of software freedom.</p><p>GNU brought us most of what we now consider the core tools (like the GNU C Compiler) in GNU/Linux. For that, every GNU/Linux user should be grateful. As Richard Stallman would say, Linux is just a kernel; GNU is the operating system. And lucky us, the programs and utilities that comprise GNU are free (and not just like beer).</p><p>For now at least, proprietary software offers a usable experience to those who need features unavailable through free or open-source channels.</p><p>That’s not all bad, either. The vast majority of games are proprietary and are likely to stay that way. Games, like entertainment films, don’t easily lend themselves to an open-source or free software model. Games are artistic storytelling media, not utilitarian tools.</p><p>I talked about how bringing proprietary software (besides games) to GNU/Linux could draw more users to the OS. I can still hear Stallman’s howls of rage in my head. (I hope that my uses of “GNU/Linux” satiates the beast.)</p><p>We won’t need as many proprietary solutions if there are more free software solutions that meet users’ needs. Free software too often falls short&mdash;or has the perception of falling short&mdash;of the capabilities of its proprietary counterparts. But here’s the thing with free software: The onus falls on us, the community, to fill the holes and create a better experience.</p><p>Software costs money to develop. Even while a lot of free and open-source contributions are made through someone’s want to contribute as a hobby or passion, hardware and server costs are hefty burdens to lay on development teams. We can grow Linux as users by donating a few bucks to the software projects we use.</p><p>Big-name corporate sponsors back many free software projects with money, or even by hiring full-time employees who contribute code. It’s great that companies are contributing to programs that everyone is free to use because they realize the value and utility of free software in day-to-day operations. However, not all free software and Linux projects are lucky enough to be backed by a corporate sponsor.</p><div><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Apache corporate sponsors"></p><p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The&nbsp;Apache web server&nbsp;gets lots of big corporate love. GNOME and KDE? Not so much.</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Companies tend to back projects that further their own bottom line, which results in a big disparity in funding between desktop applications and server applications. If you need an example of this, look at the number of big-name corporate sponsors for the Apache Foundation. When you look at the patrons for the GNOME and KDE projects, corporate names are far fewer in number.</p><p>Lest someone think that the free software community is made up of a bunch of long-haired hippie commie pinkos looking for handouts, there is money to be made in free software, too. There is nothing in the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">GNU General Public License</a> that says you can’t sell programs. It simply stipulates that the source code of those programs must be made available to the end user, so they can change and modify it as they wish. The legal ability to do is what makes the software free. Companies like Automattic (WordPress), Red Hat (Fedora), and others have built successful businesses by selling or offering support plans for free software. Making or using free software does not necessarily cede the competitive edge.</p><p>If you don’t have deep pockets and dollars to spare, there are other ways to contribute. If you know how to write code, consider squashing a bug or two. There are also plenty of projects&mdash;<a href="" target="_blank">like gnuTaxes</a>&mdash;that need developers to pick up where the original creator left off because real life intervened, rendering the project orphaned.</p><p>You don’t need to be a coder to contribute, either. If you’re a writer, create some documentation or write a how-to when you solve a specific problem. Graphic designers can contribute artwork to make interfaces more beautiful. Even helping someone out on a forum, IRC channel, or social media goes a long way to make the community more welcoming for those new to Linux.</p><p>Investment&mdash;whether it be in time or money&mdash;by the community will make free software grow. Just as democracy is best realized when citizens participate, the free and open-source community requires the contributions of users. That’s the spirit of free software: software for the people, by the people.</p><p>People will flock to freedom when they start to see its prosperity, but will hesitate if it means a rough trail of usability and lack of features. Once we pave the roads, others will follow en masse.</p><p>Freedom is hard work, but we can do it.</p></div> Why Minimum FPS Can Be Misleading What We’re Doing about ItWed, 22 Jul 2015 21:50:11 +0000 rategeforcenvidiaradeon <h3>What the numbers really mean</h3><p> There are a few things in life that are constant: death, taxes, and hardware upgrades. Every time we experience a major shift in graphics fidelity, there's a requisite purchase of new hardware to keep up. Having now finished off the recent launches of Nvidia's GTX 980 Ti and AMD's Fury X, there's something we want to discuss a bit more that will affect future GPU reviews-or at least, it will affect our presentation of data. That topic is minimum frame rates.</p><p> Unlike average frame rates, usually expressed as FPS (frames per second), minimum frame rates are prone to some wild fluctuations between benchmark runs. The problem is that depending on built-in benchmarks and their reported frame rates isn't always reliable. Some games appear to sweep a few low results under the table, others report the absolute minimum frame rate, and still others use a sort of "average minimum" value. All of these can be useful to varying degrees, but the inconsistency between benchmarks is a real concern. To understand why, we need to talk about why minimum FPS matters and then look at a few benchmarks as examples.</p><p> The short summary is that minimum frame rates matter because they can cause a game to stutter. Imagine, as a worst-case scenario, a game where one frame renders at 20fps and then the next three frames render at 180fps. While the average frame rate would be 60fps, on a typical 60Hz display with VSYNC disabled you would see the first frame for three screen updates followed by one update showing parts of the three fast frames. Or let's take an even more extreme case: imagine a game that renders at 60fps for 19 frames and then 10fps for a single frame. The game would feel smooth for those 19 frames and then there would be a big stutter on the last frame. The average frame rate is still a respectable 48fps, but the minimum frame rate indicates there's a serious problem somewhere.</p><p> The difficulty is that minimum frame rates often don't come at regular intervals. The 19-to-1 ratio of the second example would be horrible if it happened, but it typically doesn't occur in normal gameplay. What's more likely is that you'll have games that run for hundreds or even thousands of frames at higher FPS values, but at times there's a scene transition or the GPU runs out of VRAM and you'll have some stuttering. Ideally, that's what we want to capture, but many games abstract the benchmark results into just minimum and average FPS. So let's look at a few examples.</p><p> First, Tomb Raider (2013) has a decent built-in benchmark. The test shows Lara Croft overlooking a scene of crashed boats, airplanes, etc., as the camera orbits around her. As the entire sequence consists of a single scene in the game, the loading of assets is done ahead of the benchmark run and the results are very consistent. If you run the test ten times, you might see a fluctuation of a few percent at most on both the average and minimum frame rates. Maximum frame rates may show greater variability, but few people are worried about the maximum FPS, so that's not a problem. The Tomb Raider benchmark at least is an example of a trustworthy minimum FPS result.</p><p> At the other end of the spectrum, the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark has extremely unreliable minimum frame rates. The test consists of 26 scenes, but frame rates are captured during scene transitions&mdash;so for example, the first few scenes may have all their assets loaded into memory, but at some point there's a scene that has to load some assets. When this happens, there might be a single instance where the frame rate drops to 30fps. If the 30fps result happened consistently, it might be meaningful, but if it only occurs during a camera/scene change and it only happens for one or two frames out of thousands, it has little bearing on normal game play.</p><p> In between these extremes, there are other games where the built-in benchmark may have erratic minimum FPS results during the first few seconds of a benchmark. Shadow of Mordor is like this, as the level assets are still loading for the first few seconds. If you were actually playing Shadow of Mordor rather than just benchmarking it, you might have stuttering frame rates right as a saved game loads, but then for minutes or even hours afterward the frame rates would be higher and generally consistent. Run the built-in benchmark once and the minimum frame rate might show as 25fps. Run it three times in a row and you'll typically find that the second and third runs show significantly higher "minimums." But even running the test multiple times doesn't fully account for variations between runs.</p><h5><strong></strong>Enter the 97 Percentile</h5><p> The good news is that the problem with looking at pure minimums is a well-known fact, so clever statisticians have already had a solution for decades (or more): percentiles. The concept is easy enough: given a large enough set of numbers, sort them and the 97 percentile would be the number that is larger than 97 percent of the results. For minimum frame rates, we're going the other way and looking at the number that's smaller than 97 percent of results. Of course, you can make arguments for a different percentile&mdash;99 and 95 percentile are commonly used&mdash;but that's more debating semantics.</p><p> Some games even report percentiles already, e.g., GTAV's built-in benchmark reports 90–99 percentiles for the five test scenes, along with 50, 75, 80, and 85 percentiles for good measure. GTAV also goes one step further and reports the number of frames under 60fps and 30fps for each test sequence. Let's quickly look at what this means for a specific GPU tested in GTAV, the GTX 980 Ti running at 1080p.</p><p> GTAV GTX 980 Ti 1080p Results – Pass 4</p> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"> Min </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> Avg </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> % &gt; 60fps </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> % &gt; 30fps </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> 97% </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"> 8.6 </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> 83.1 </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> 93.9 </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> 99.8 </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> 58.8 </td> </tr> </tbody> </table><p> If we only look at the minimum frame rate, it might appear that GTAV stutters a lot for this specific test case&mdash;the average FPS is a rather high 83, but minimum FPS is only 8.6! But looking closer, that minimum frame rate is quite rare, likely occurring only when a bunch of data has to be loaded into memory. Looking at the frame rates above 30fps, only 0.2 percent of frames were below that threshold, while 6.1 percent were below 60fps. And finally, the 97 percentile tells us that 97 percent of frames rendered at 58.8fps or faster.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="GTAV GTX980Ti Graph"></p><p> Of course, we could just present you with a complete graph of frame rates for the test, as shown above. The problem with this approach is that it makes comparing products difficult, especially for people who don't eat, breathe, and sleep statistics. We would need one chart per GPU per game, or perhaps we could do a few GPUs in each chart, but either way it quickly results in information overload. It also requires a lot more time to create all the charts, time which could be better spent in other endeavors. Using a 97 percentile result allows us to quickly get to the heart of the matter and provide a meaningful "typical minimum FPS" value.</p><p> Of course, totally ignoring all frame rates below the 97 percentile doesn't necessarily make sense either. Those slow frames are still present, and if there's enough of them&mdash;and if they're slow enough&mdash;it can dramatically impact the overall experience. Our solution is simple. Instead of looking at just the 97 percentile frame rate, we can find the average FPS for all frames that are slower than the 97 percentile. That way we don't miss out on the effect of a few very slow frames.</p><h5>Check Out These Frame Rates</h5><p> Here's where things get interesting. If we take the built-in benchmarks we're running for our GPU tests and log frame rates with FRAPS, this allows us to calculate the average FPS as well as the average FPS of the slowest three percent of frames&mdash;what we're calling the "average 97 percentile." We can also look at the true instantaneous minimum FPS according to FRAPS. You might assume all of the games report the absolute minimum FPS, but it turns out they all vary in how they're calculating minimums.</p><p> Some of the tests appear to "miss" counting certain frames while others seem to have some sort of percentile calculation in effect. The short summary is that most of the games show unwanted variations in this metric. But let's not jump ahead. In the charts below, we'll look at the reported "minimums" compared to our calculated "average 97 percentile" to show what's going on. We'll also provide separate commentary on each chart to discuss what we've noticed during testing.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Batman Origins Minimum Vs 97percentile"></p><p> Starting with Batman: Arkham Origins, we immediately see that the "minimum" FPS reported by the built-in benchmark already appears to be doing some form of percentile calculation. Our "average 97 percentile" in all cases is lower than the game's reported minimum, and it would appear Arkham Origins is using a 90 percentile or similar; we've also noticed a tendency for the built-in benchmark to report a lower than expected "minimum" that only occurs between scenes. Looking at AMD and Nvidia GPUs, we have two different results. On the Nvidia side, our 97 percentile and the game's reported minimums are relatively close at higher resolutions, while on AMD hardware we see a relatively large discrepancy. This is one of several titles where the built-in benchmark provides somewhat "misleading" (or at least, not entirely correct) minimum frame rate reporting.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Hitman Absolution Minimum Vs 97percentile"></p><p> Hitman: Absolution shows some of the same issues as Arkham Origins. The supposed minimum frame rates the built-in benchmark reports are either skipping some frames or using a percentile calculation. Interestingly, this appears to benefit AMD GPUs in particular at higher resolutions, where 4K on the 390X has a reported minimum that's 44 percent higher than our average 97 percentile calculation.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Shadow Mordor Minimum Vs 97percentile"></p><p> Shadow of Mordor reverses the trend and we see universally higher frame rates compared to the reported minimum FPS. This time, however, AMD cards were being hurt by lower reported minimums. The reason is actually pretty straightforward: For the first few seconds after the benchmark begins, AMD GPUs in particular have a frame every half a second or so that takes longer to render. Once all the assets are loaded, things smooth out, but those early dips occur more frequently on Radeons. Also note that we were running this particular benchmark three times in succession at each resolution to try to stabilize the reported minimum FPS&mdash;if we only ran the test once, the reported minimums would be substantially lower on all GPUs.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Tomb Raider Minimum Vs 97percentile"></p><p> Finally, we have a game where the reported minimum FPS closely matches our average 97 percentile calculations. It could be that Tomb Raider was already doing a percentile calculation, or more likely it's due to the fact that the benchmark scene isn't very dynamic, so the typical minimum FPS occurs for a longer period of time. The game also appears to pre-cache all assets, as much as possible, so there aren't any unusual spikes in FPS. The net result is that at most resolutions, we only see a 1–2fps difference, so the built-in gives meaningful and consistent results&mdash;at least for this particular game.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Unigine Heaven Minimum Vs 97percentile"></p><p> Of the five games/engines we're testing for this article, Unigine Heaven has the least reliable/useful minimum FPS reporting. At lower resolutions on Nvidia hardware, a few dips in frame rate during scene transitions skew the numbers, so our 97 percentile results are substantially higher. Where things get interesting is on AMD GPUs, where the engine actually appears to miss some of the low frame rates. This might be something a driver update could address, but a detailed graph comparing the 980 Ti and Fury X will help illustrate the current problem better:</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="980ti vs FuryX Heaven"></p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="980ti vs FuryX Heaven 20s"></p><p> We used two graphs because Heaven is a longer benchmark, and looking at the full 260-second chart doesn't clearly show what's happening. Zooming in on the first 20 seconds gives the proper view. Basically, while there are minor fluctuations in FPS on the GTX 980 Ti, on the Fury X (and other AMD GPUs show the same issue), there's a pattern that repeats every seven frames: one slow-to-render frame, one fast-to-render frame (most likely a runt frame), and then five frames at a mostly consistent rate. Right now, this is occurring throughout the 260-second test sequence. The result is a stuttering frame rate that's noticeable to the user, though thankfully Unigine is more of a tech demo/benchmark as opposed to an actual game.</p><h5>Putting It All Together</h5><p> "Hey, you in the back... WAKE UP!" Okay, sorry for the boring math diatribe, but sometimes it's important to understand what's going on and what it really means. This isn't intended as any form of manifesto on frame rates, and in fact this is a topic that has come up before. Nvidia even helped create some hardware and software to better report on what is happening on the end-user screen, called FCAT (Frame Capture Analysis Tool), but frankly it can be a pain to use. Our reason for talking about this is merely to shed some light, once more, on the importance of consistent frame rates.</p><p> We've been collecting data for a little while now, and since we were already running FRAPS for certain tests it makes sense to look at other places where it makes sense. We're planning to start using our 97 percentile "average minimum FPS" results for future GPU reviews, as it will help to eliminate some discrepancies in the reported frame rates from certain games (see above). It shouldn't radically alter our conclusions, but if there are driver issues (e.g., AMD clearly has something going wrong with Unigine Heaven 4.0 right now), looking at the reported minimum FPS along with the 97 percentile will raise a red flag.</p><p> If you read one of our GPU reviews in the near future and wonder why some of the minimum FPS results changed, this is why. It will also explain why some of our results won't fully line up with other results you might see reported&mdash;we're not willing to trust the reported minimums.</p><p> And if you really want to know how to calculate a similar number... fire up Excel, open your FRAPS frametimes CSV, and calculate the individual frame times in column C (e.g., C3 = B3 - B2). Copy that formula down column C until the end of the collected data. Then the "average 97 percentile" is as follows, where "[C Data]" is the range of cells in column C containing individual frame times (e.g., "C3:C9289"):<br> =COUNTIF([C Data], "&gt;"&amp; PERCENTILE.INC([C Data],0.97))/SUMIF([C Data], "&gt;"&amp;PERCENTILE.INC([C Data],0.97))*1000</p> Newegg Daily Deals: Corsair CX600 600W PSU, Samsung 31.5-Inch Curved Monitor, and More! there playa, take that sucker out of your cart. Yes, we're talking about that 1500W power supply. Why? Well, are you planning to power your neighborhood? Oh, you're just preparing for Skylake -- we can dig it, but we can also see that single graphics card in your cart, and unless you're hiding a bazillion drives somewhere, you can save a lot by going with a more appropriate PSU selection.Wed, 22 Jul 2015 20:08:55 +0000 dealsNeweggNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Corsair CX600"></p><p><strong>Top Deal:</strong></p><p>Whoa there playa, take that sucker out of your cart. Yes, we're talking about that 1500W power supply. Why? Well, are you planning to power your neighborhood? Oh, you're just preparing for Skylake -- we can dig it, but we can also see that single graphics card in your cart, and unless you're hiding a bazillion drives somewhere, you can save a lot by going with a more appropriate PSU selection. 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In addition to the ones already shown, you can add the Z170X SOC Force to the growing list.</p><p> <a href="" target="_blank"><em>WCCFTech</em></a> discovered a bunch of pictures of the board over at Thai-language website <em><a href="">itfree4U</a>. </em>High end features abound in what appears to be a well thought out design on a board that's clearly aimed at overclockers, though you'll need a big case to run this bad boy&mdash;it's an Extended ATX (E-ATX) form factor motherboard.</p><p> As with all Z170X chipset boards for Skylake-S processors, Gigabyte's newest entry sports a new LGA 1151 socket designed for the next generation CPU family. Skylake will support both <a href="">DDR3 and DDR4</a> memory, though enthusiast boards like the Z170X SOC Force will run with the latter&mdash;four DIMM slots in this instance, all located on one side of the CPU socket.</p><p> Looking around the socket reveals a 20 digital phase power design (16+4 CPU/PLL/memory). There are high end components throughout, including a Turbo BCLK chip for a bigger range of BCLK frequency turning (90-200MHz).</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Gigabyte OC Touch"></p><p> You can also see a familiar touch panel that's a holdover from previous SOC motherboards, along with a diagnostic LED, voltage check points, four PCI Express x16 slots, three PCi Express 3.0 x1 slots, eight SATA 6Gbps ports, three SATA Express ports, two USB 3.0 headers, two USB 2.0 headers, two USB 2.0 internal ports, and an I/O panel with four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, OC button, PS/2 port, DVI/DisplayPort, HDMI, USB 3.0 Type-C, eSATA, GbE LAN, and audio ports.</p><p> All the overclocking goodies in the world won't do a lick of good if the architecture isn't flexible, though some early results are encouraging. Just a few days ago, an overclocker <a href="">posted a CPU-Z image</a> showing a Core i7-6700K running at nearly 5.2GHz at 1.35V using air cooling.</p><p> If final Skylake silicon overclocks anywhere near as well, it will be a lot of fun tinkering on motherboards like Gigabyte's Z170X SOC Force.</p><p> <em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Mouse and Keyboard Support Headed to Xbox One, Will PC Streaming Come Next? soon you'll be able to use your PC's mouse and keyboard on your Xbox One console.Wed, 22 Jul 2015 18:54:21 +0000 one <h3>Putting the foundation in place</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Xbox One Elite Controller"></p><p> Exciting things are happening as we get closer to the launch of Windows 10. Just last week, <a href="">Microsoft announced</a> that all Xbox One owners could stream games from their Xbox One console to their Windows 10 PC, a feature that was first made available to Xbox One Preview participants a <a href="">month ago</a>. Now there's talk of adding keyboard and mouse support to the Xbox One, which could be in preparation of streaming games in the other direction.</p><p> News of the impending keyboard and mouse support came from Xbox boss Phil Spencer who was addressing a question posed on Twitter. A user asked if the new streaming functionality meant that mirroring PCs to an Xbox One with Windows 10 is a feature that's in the pipeline, and what Spencer had to say was encouraging.</p><p> Here's how the <a href="" target="_blank">conversation went down</a> on Twitter.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <strong>Tarkan Huseyin:</strong> Will we be able to mirror our PC to Xbox One with Windows 10?</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <strong>Phil Spencer:</strong> Still finishing Xbox to Windows 10 streaming right now. I like the idea of Windows 10 &gt; Xbox One streaming but don't have a plan yet.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <strong>Leandro G. Barbosa:</strong> For this [to work] Xbox [One] needs mouse support.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <strong>Phil Spencer:</strong> Yep, keyboard and mouse support for Xbox [One] would need to be there for this to work, those aren't far away.</p><p> This is encouraging because (A) Spencer seems to like the idea, (B) he used the world "yet," and (C) adding keyboard and mouse support gives the Xbox One the foundation it needs for streaming PC games on Windows 10 to the console.</p><p> Should this be put on the roadmap, it would be interesting to see what kind of feedback Microsoft would receive from system builders, as it could be a blow to the Steam Machine movement that's finally getting underway.</p><p> Of course, Microsoft might not care, as adding Windows 10 &gt; Xbox One streaming could help boost console sales and perhaps take the top spot from Sony and its PlayStation 4 console (talking about sales, not which console is better).</p><p> Anyone have an thoughts on this?</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Microsoft Loses Big Overall Last Quarter But Sees Huge Gain in Surface Sales posts a record $3.2 billion loss resulting from its Nokia write down.Wed, 22 Jul 2015 16:39:42 +0000 <h3>Surface rises up</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Microsoft Sign"></p><p> Microsoft posted a record $3.2 billion loss on revenues of $22.2 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2015, though there's more to the story than that. Typically a company would be in big trouble if it was losing billions of dollars per quarter, but in this case, the results are indicative of a recent <a href="">$7.5 billion write down</a> Microsoft took related to its Nokia handset business.</p><p> Despite the massive loss, there are reasons for Microsoft to be optimistic. One of them is the continued rise in Surface sales. Surface revenue grew a whopping 117 percent to $888 million, which is thanks in large part to the Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3 launch. That's quite the turnaround for Microsoft's tablet efforts when you consider the <a href="">$900 million charge</a> it took on unsold Surface RT tablets just two short years ago.</p><p> Surface wasn't the only area posting gains. Microsoft's Xbox division saw revenue go up 27 percent on strong growth in consoles, Xbox Live transactions, and first party games, while search advertising revenue grew 21 percent with Bing grabbing a 20.3 percent share of the search market in the U.S.</p><p> The cloud was also kind to Microsoft. Nearly 3 million new Office 365 Consumer subscribers&nbsp;joined the fray, bringing the total number to 15.2 million, while commercial cloud revenue rose 88 percent.</p><p> "Our approach to investing in areas where we have differentiation and opportunity is paying off with Surface, Xbox, Bing, Office 365, Azure and Dynamics CRM Online all growing by at least double-digits," said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer at Microsoft. "And the upcoming release of Windows 10 will create new opportunities for Microsoft and our ecosystem."</p><p> These figures are the result of Nadella putting his stamp on Microsoft after <a href="">inheriting a business</a> with a shaky future from Steve Ballmer, who now <a href="">owns the Los Angeles Clippers</a>. In a recent letter to employees, Nadella warned that he would be making some "<a href="">tough choices</a>" to right the ship, which he followed through on by virtually disbanding the company's Nokia acquisition, resulting in 7,800 layoffs.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> You Can Pre-Order Windows 10 on Amazon Right Now (Update) sticks with Windows 10 are already on sale at AmazonWed, 22 Jul 2015 00:00:00 +0000 10 <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Windows 10 Boxshots "></p><p>What we already know about Windows 10 is that customers currently running Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 will have a year to upgrade to Windows 10 for free when the new platform launches on July 29. Customers with the “Get Windows 10” app sitting on their system tray are now&nbsp;encouraged to reserve a spot in the digital rollout.</p><p>But what if you’re building a Windows 10 machine from scratch? Customers who already own Windows 7 will need SP1 installed first before taking the upgrading plunge. Customers with Windows 8 will need to upgrade to Windows 8.1 before installing the new OS. In both cases, Windows 10 relies on the customer’s genuine serial code that comes with Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1. Remember, the free&nbsp;upgrade to Windows 10 will last a full year.</p><p>However, for those who don’t have Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1, they will need to purchase Windows 10 outright. The cost for the Home Edition will be&nbsp;$120, the Pro Edition will set you back $200, and the upgrade from Home to Pro will cost $100. The box art appears above, with the Home version in blue and the Pro version in purple. The boxes will likely be the same for the disc-based versions and the USB versions.</p><p>That brings us to the heart of the topic. Amazon is currently taking pre-orders for Windows 10 in USB form: <a href="">the Home version here</a> and <a href="">the Pro version here</a>. Both listings state that these copies of Windows 10 will ship to consumers on <strong>August 30, 2015</strong>. Both listings also use the box art that was leaked last week and clarifies that the operating system will be free to Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 customers for a year.</p><p>Windows 10 is expected to launch on July 29, so the August ship date is rather interesting. Will these USB sticks arrive after the disc-based copies, or is that the availability for all physical media? Perhaps the August 16 date is just a placeholder for now.</p><p>“We’re all working super hard here to deliver the best Windows ever, and are preparing everything that needs to be in place for our public release,”&nbsp;<a href="">said Microsoft’s Gabe Aul on Wednesday</a>. “We cannot wait for all of you, and your friends and family who reserved their upgrade, to see the result.”</p><p>Windows 10 should offer customers a better Windows experience when it’s released, providing tools like Cortana and Microsoft Edge. The platform promises great things for PC gamers and Xbox One owners alike, as the platform will include DirectX 12 and means for streaming Xbox One games to the Windows 10 PC screen.</p><p>Fun stuff.</p><p><strong>MORE:</strong><br><a href="">The New Settings ‘App’ in Windows 10</a><br> <a href="">This is Windows 10’s Cortana Virtual Personal Assistant</a><br> <a href="">Windows 10 Start Menu: The Details</a><br> <a href="">Windows 10 Vs. Windows 8.1: The Major Differences</a><br> <a href="">This is Windows 10’s Edge Browser</a><br> <a href="">The Top 7 Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10</a></p> Best Local Co-op Living Room PC Games The best PC games to play with your friends on the couchTue, 21 Jul 2015 23:35:14 +0000 gamesSteamsteam machinesteam os Writers Wanted wanted for Maximum PCTue, 21 Jul 2015 20:30:00 +0000 pc Freelance for Maximum PC<br /> <br /> Do you write well and know PC hardware like the back of your hand? If you've been building PCs since&nbsp;before you could walk and would like to contribute to Maximum PC, we would love to have you on board.<br /> <br /> We’re currently looking for experts who specialize in the following categories:<br /> Software (Windows/Linux/Multimedia Production/Editing)<br /> <br /> Cases<br /> <br /> Cooling<br /> <br /> Overclocking<br /> <br /> Modding<br /> Laptops<br /> <br /> Peripherals (headset, keyboards, mice)<br /> <br /> NetworkingHome automationSecurityNAS<br /> Basically, if you write well and consider yourself an expert in any of the aforementioned categories, we would love to hear from you. Writers should be able to write a variety of content that could include news, reviews, how-to guides, and features. To be considered, please send resumes/written samples to<br /><br /> and let us know what hardware beats you'd like to cover!<br /> Newegg Daily Deals: Dell U2415 24.1-Inch Monitor, Intel Core i5-4460, and More! it was clear that LCD monitors had won the war against CRTs, there was a battle cry among photo editors and color conscious users -- "Give us IPS panels, or give us death!" Seems like a pretty hardcore stance to take against TN panels, but you can quote us, this is real history folks.Tue, 21 Jul 2015 19:37:29 +0000 dealsNeweggNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Dell Monitor"></p><p><strong>Top Deal:</strong></p><p>When it was clear that LCD monitors had won the war against CRTs, there was a battle cry among photo editors and color conscious users -- "Give us IPS panels, or give us death!" Seems like a pretty hardcore stance to take against TN panels, but you can quote us, this is real history folks. As time went on, the IPS rebels wore down monitor makers, who finally offered up IPS monitors at reasonable prices. And so it is with today's top deal for a <a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-DISPLAY-N82E16824260233-_-0721&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Dell U2415 24.1-inch Monitor</a> for <strong>$240</strong> with free shipping (normally $280 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNK23</strong>]). The U2415 sports an IPS panel with a Full HD 1080p resolution, dual HDMI ports, dual DisplayPorts, and half a dozen USB 3.0 ports (5 up, 1 down).</p><p><strong>Other Deals:</strong></p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-SSD-N82E16820721108-_-0721&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Kingston SSDNow V300 Series SV300S37A/240G 2.5-inch 240GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD</a>) for <strong>$77</strong> with free shipping (normally $88 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNK29</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-MEMORY-N82E16820233536-_-0721&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1866 Desktop Memory</a> for <strong>$90</strong> with free shipping (normally $95 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNK33</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-CPU-N82E16819117302-_-0721&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Intel Core i5-4460 Haswell Quad-Core 3.2GHz LGA 1150 Desktop Processor</a> for <strong>$180</strong> with $1 shipping (normally $190 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNK28</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-DISPLAY-N82E16824236335-_-0721&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Asus VN248H-P Slim Bezel Black 23.8-inch 5ms IPS LCD Monitor w/ Built-in Speakers</a> for <strong>$150</strong> with free shipping (normally $170 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVNK22</strong>]; additional $20 Mail-in rebate)</p> Microsoft Surface 3 4G LTE Heads to AT&T on July 24 will be the first to offer a Surface 3 tablet with 4G LTE connectivityTue, 21 Jul 2015 19:24:47 +0000 3 <h3>The wait is almost over</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Surface 3"></p><p> Microsoft launched its toned down Surface 3 tablet <a href="">back in May</a> with two introductory models&mdash;a $499 SKU with an Atom x7-Z8700 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage, and a $599 model with the same CPU and twice as much memory (4GB) and storage (128GB). At the time, Microsoft promised to have 4G LTE–capable models soon.</p><p> That time is coming. AT&amp;T today announced that it will offer a 4G LTE variant of the lower-end Surface 3 model on July 24. If you take advantage of AT&amp;T's Tablet Installment plan, you can pick it up for no money down and $30 per month for 20 months, which works out to $600. That a $100 premium over the retail cost in the long run, though you're also paying for 4G LTE service.</p><p> Alternately, AT&amp;T says you can purchase the Surface 3 with 4G LTE for $399.99 outright, provided you also pick up a Lumia smartphone (any model) on AT&amp;T Next.</p><p> There will also be a commercial version of Surface 3 available to business customers in the coming weeks, though AT&amp;T didn't provide any further details.</p><p> The Surface 3 features a 10.8-inch display with a Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) resolution. It also has 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, a full-size USB 3.0 port, mini DisplayPort, microSD card reader, headset jack, 3.5MP front camera, and 8MP rear camera. According to Microsoft, the Surface 3 offers more than 80 percent of the performance of the Surface Pro 3 (Core i3 model).</p><iframe src="" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" width="620"> </iframe><p> As for software, the entry-level slate comes with Windows 8.1, which you can upgrade to Windows 10 free of charge for the first year it's available, and a one-year subscription to Office 356 Personal.</p><p> <em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Rockstar Patch Fixes Frame Rate Issue in GTA V for PC patch to fix performance issues introduced with the previous patch.Tue, 21 Jul 2015 17:12:09 +0000 Theft Auto VNews <h3>Performance restored</h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Gtav"></p><p>The previous Title Update (1.28) for Grand Theft Auto V attempted to thwart gamers from using mods in Grand Theft Auto Online, though it had the unfortunate side effect of <a href="">causing performance issues</a> in Story Mode. There were complaints of significantly reduced frame rates, sometimes as low as 3fps on well equipped systems, and the issue seemed to affect both players with and without mods installed.</p><p> Rockstar Games promised to investigate the issue and appears to have found and fixed the culprit. There's a new Title Update available (<a href="" target="_blank">1.28.01</a>) that purportedly restores performance to what it was before applying the previous patch.</p><p> As for mods in Story Mode, Rockstar claims it isn't doing anything that would prevent players from using them.</p><p> "We also received some reports linking decreased performance when using Story Mode mods to TU 1.28. As mentioned previously, we are not actively targeting players using mods in Story Mode, nor are we explicitly implementing protections against them in-game," Rockstar said.</p><p> Instead, Rockstar said its primary focus is protecting the integrity of GTA Online and making sure players aren't using mods to gain an unfair advantage, disrupt gameplay, or cause griefing.</p><p> "However, as a reminder, mods are still unauthorized and as such, Title Updates may cause Story Mode mods to behave in unexpected ways because they are not supported or tested, and players run them at their own risk," Rockstar added.</p><p> In short, Rockstar doesn't care if you use mods in Story Mode, but if functionality breaks or performance suffers, you might be on your own.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Update Windows Now to Avoid Hijacking Threat issued an emergency patch for all supported versions of WindowsTue, 21 Jul 2015 16:26:15 +0000 <h3>All supported versions of Windows are affected</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Windows Update"></p><p> In a rare move, Microsoft has issued an out-of-band (read: emergency) security patch for Windows to address a zero-day vulnerability that could allow a hacker to take control of a system remotely. The security threat and subsequent patch affect all supported versions of Windows, including Windows 10.</p><p> "The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted document or visits an untrusted webpage that contains embedded OpenType fonts," Microsoft stated in a <a href=";MSPPError=-2147217396" target="_blank">security bulletin</a>.</p><p> Left unpatched, Microsoft says an attacker who takes advantage of the exploit could take complete control of a system and proceed to "install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full users rights."</p><p> What's more, an attacker has multiple avenues to exploit the vulnerability. One such way is by convincing a user to open a specially crafted document, while another option is getting a user to visit an untrusted webpage that contains embedded OpenType fonts.</p><p> The vulnerability was discovered by researchers who combed through numerous emails that were made public after Italian security outfit Hacking Team was itself hacked, <em><a href="" target="_blank">ComputerWorld reports</a></em>. Specifically, Microsoft gives credit to FireEye's Genwei Jiang and Google Project Zero's Mateusz Jurczyk for reporting the vulnerability.</p><p> Hacking Team makes a living by selling surveillance software to governments and corporations around the world. It also sells zero-day vulnerabilities, such as the three in Adobe Flash Player that prompted Mozilla to <a href="">disable the software</a> by default in its Firefox browser.</p><p> If you have automatic updates enabled, Microsoft says you're all set. This also underscores why Microsoft is <a href="">forcing automatic updates</a> on Windows 10 Home users, though Windows 10 Pro users will have the option of putting off updates for up to eight months.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Dell's First Fully Rugged Tablet is Prepped for Extreme Conditions Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet is a Windows slate built for harsh environmentsTue, 21 Jul 2015 15:42:56 +0000 <h3>One tough tablet</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet"></p><p> Dell is no stranger to rugged PC products, though its new Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet is the OEM's first truly tough slate for adventure seekers and emergency responders alike, along with anyone else who often frequents locales that would send wimpier tablets into hiding.</p><p> The Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet is&nbsp;designed for the "harshest conditions" and can withstand water spills, sand and dust, drops from over four feet high, and extreme temperatures, Dell says. However, it's rough and tough construction doesn't come at the expense of performance.</p><p> Fifth Generation Intel Core M processor options power the rugged tablet's 11.6-inch "Direct-View" HD display, which Dell says is outdoor readable. It also boasts glove-enabled multi-touch capabilities and Gorilla Glass 3 protection.</p><p> You'll be able to configure a Latitude 12 with up to 8GB of LPDDR3-1600 RAM and up to 512GB of solid state drive storage. For connecting to the web, there's a built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter as well as optional mobile broadband and dedicated GPS. Software options will include Windows 7 Professional (64/32-bit), Windows 8.1 Pro (64-bit), Windows 8.1 (64-bit), Windows 10 Pro (64-bit), and Windows 10 (64-bit).</p><p> On the security side, the Latitude 12 features Dell Data Protection, Intel vPro, and Intel TPM 1.2 technologies.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Dell Latitude 12 Windows"></p><p> As for ports, it has a USB 3.0 port, micro serial port, micro HDMI, microSD card reader, and a stereo audio combo jack, all of which are protected by port covers and HZO liquid protection technology.</p><p> The tablet also features a durable pogo-pin docking interface to pair with an extensive line of products, including a desk dock, vehicle dock, and keyboard. And speaking of the latter, Dell offers an optional full-size keyboard cover with customizable RGB backlight and an IP-65 rating to protect against water and dust.</p><p> <strong>"</strong>Dell Rugged devices are critical to many industries including military, emergency response, public safety, industrial work, scientists and even adventurers. It’s important for Dell’s Latitude Rugged devices to provide superior computing power and the mobile capabilities they require to accomplish their jobs," <a href="" target="_blank">said Drew Moore</a>,executive director and general Manager, Rugged Mobility Products at Dell.<strong></strong> "“Whether it’s a first responder to an emergency or an avid outdoorsman scaling an untouched summit for the first time, Dell’s Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet is built to deliver the performance they need, wherever they need it, without worrying about what their environment throws at them."</p><iframe src="" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" width="620"> </iframe><p> The Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet will be available direct from Dell by the end of the month. However, it won't be cheap -- Dell tells <em>Maximum PC</em> that pricing will start at $1,599.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> How to: Boot Directly into Steam Big Picture Mode your Windows PC into a Steam MachineMon, 20 Jul 2015 22:30:46 +0000 picture modehow toSteamValveWindows <h3>Turn your Windows PC into a Steam Machine</h3><p>With the upcoming Steam Machines, Valve is making a big play to bring PC gaming into the living room, but if you’re unwilling to wait for them to launch this fall, we’ve got a big tip that will help you bring PC gaming into your living room today. </p><p>Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know about Valve’s “Big Picture Mode.” This mode is basically a 10-foot UI for Steam that’s designed to work well with controllers in a living room setting. Problem is, it’s a little annoying having to set up a keyboard and mouse, just so that you can launch Steam’s Big Picture Mode from the Windows desktop. Luckily, there’s a way to set up your PC to boot directly into Steam Big Picture Mode upon startup. Here’s how you do it:</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Big Picture Mode"></p><p>Create a text file named "BigPicture.cmd" (you can use Windows Notepad to do this). Inside the file, paste the following lines:</p><p>@echo off title Enable Steam Big Picture @ Startup echo Enabling boot to Steam Big Picture mode for all users... %WINDIR%\System32\reg.exe load HKLM\DefaultUser C:\Users\Default\NTUSER.DAT %WINDIR%\System32\reg.exe add HKLM\DefaultUser\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run /v SteamBigPicture /d "\"C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\Steam.exe\" -bigpicture" %WINDIR%\System32\reg.exe unload HKLM\DefaultUser echo. echo Steam Big Picture mode enabled for all users! pause</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Bpm"></p><p>After you've saved the file, right click it&nbsp;and run the file as Administrator. Type in any administrator password you may have.&nbsp;</p><p>From here, you’re nearly done, but you’ll need to create a new Windows user profile after this step to boot into Big Picture Mode, as it only affects new user accounts created after this step. We called our new login “Steam Big Picture Mode,” but you can call it whatever you want. Also note that this process requires Steam to be installed to the default C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam folder; otherwise, you will need to change the path&nbsp;name in the script above to get it working. </p><p>The next time you boot your Windows PC, it will briefly boot into the Windows desktop, then after a few&nbsp; seconds, Steam’s Big Picture Mode will launch.&nbsp;</p> AMD Launches Affordable A8-7670K Kaveri Refresh APU A8-7670K APU checks in at just $118 MSRP.Mon, 20 Jul 2015 22:09:15 +0000 <h3>For budget builds</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="AMD A-Series"></p><p> AMD today introduced the newest addition to its A-Series line of desktop processors, the A8-7670K APU. Billed as an "affordable APU that combines the energy efficient processing power of an AMD CPU with the pixel pushing power of AMD Radeon graphics in one convenient package," the new chip brings to the APU party 10 compute cores, including four Steamroller CPU cores clocked at 3.6GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) and six GCN Radeon cores clocked at up to 757MHz.</p><p> The A8-7670K leapfrogs the A8-7650K APU as the top-end A8 Series APU, as it's a faster all-around part. According to AMD, it's appropriate to compare the part to Intel's Core i3-4160 and Pentium G3258 processors. In marketing materials sent to members of the press, AMD shows the A8-7650K trumping both aforementioned Intel chips in PCMark 8 (Work), Passmark CPU, and 7-Zip. Here's a look:</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="AMD Benchmark Slide"></p><p> AMD also claims superior performance in overall productivity chores and makes a pitch for Windows 10 and online gaming.</p><p> "AMD takes great strides to deliver innovative technology that provides the performance and convenience customers need today and tomorrow. The AMD A8-7670K APU is no exception. Our newest APU provides a smooth user experience and is engineered for Windows 10 and eSports online gaming," said Kevin Lensing, Sr. Director, Client Business Unit at AMD.</p><p> Those looking to build a budget box should be able to find the A8-7670K immediately -- Newegg has it listed for $110, which is a little cheaper than AMD's $118 MSRP. Motherboards that support the A8-7670K are fairly cheap too -- the APU will slip right into socket FM2+ motherboards, some of which sell for right around $50.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Newegg Daily Deals: Keep Your Cool Edition! this heat wave has you sweating profusely, can you imagine how the poor components in your rig feel? That's especially true if your cooling scheme isn't up to par. Luckily it's pretty easy throw some fans at the problem.Mon, 20 Jul 2015 20:04:04 +0000 dealsNeweggNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="BigBoy200"></p><p><strong>Top Deal:</strong></p><p>If this heat wave has you sweating profusely, can you imagine how the poor components in your rig feel? That's especially true if your cooling scheme isn't up to par. Luckily it's pretty easy throw some fans at the problem, and if you're looking for a big one, check out today's top deal for an <a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-COOLING-N82E16835209021-_-0720&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Antec BIGGOY200 200m Computer Case Cooling Fan</a> for<strong> $13</strong> with free shipping (normally $26 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKV37</strong>]). This big size fan has a three-speed switch and offers up to 134 CFM.</p><p><strong>Other Deals:</strong></p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-COOLING-N82E16835181050-_-0720&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Corsair Air Series AF140 140mm Purple LED Quiet Edition High Airflow Fan</a> for <strong>$9</strong> with free shipping (normally $17 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKV37</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-COOLING-N82E16835352020-_-0720&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Fractal Design Dynamic GP-14 140mm Fan</a> for <strong>$7</strong> with $2 shipping (normally $14 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKV37</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-COOLING-N82E16835352006-_-0720&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Fractal Design Silent Series R2 120mm Fan</a> for <strong>$6</strong> with free shipping (normally $11 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKV37</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-COOLING-N82E16835352007-_-0720&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Fractal Design Silent Series R2 140mm Fan</a> for <strong>$8</strong> with free shipping (normally $15 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKV37</strong>])</p> Benchmarks Compare Skylake Performance Using DDR4 and DDR3 Memory will support both DDR3 and DDR4 memory.Mon, 20 Jul 2015 19:50:48 +0000 <h3>DDR4 and DDR3 duke it out</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Ram"></p><p> One of the nice things about Intel's Skylake microarchitecture is that it supports both DDR3 and DDR4 memory standards. That means you can dive into Skylake without having to buy new RAM, assuming you already own DDR3 memory. However, just because you can doesn't necessarily mean you should. The question is, what kind of performance benefits will end users gain from upgrading to DDR4?</p><p> We won't have the full answer until we get a chance to run and publish the results of our own comprehensive testing, but in the meantime, there are some <a href="" target="_blank">benchmarks on the web</a> that show how a Core i5-6400T performs when paired with DDR3 and DDR4 memory.</p><p> Unfortunately, it's far from an apples to apples comparison. Here are the two setups that were used:</p><ul> <li>DDR4: ECS Q17-SF100 w/ 32GB of DDR4-2400 (16GBx2 SO-DIMMs)</li> <li>DDR3: ECS H110-SF100 w/ 8GB of DDR3L-2133 (4GBx2 SO-DIMMs)</li></ul><p> It would have been better if the same amount of RAM was used in both configs, but that wasn't the case. As for the CPU, it's a quad-core part that runs at 2.2GHz base / 2.8GHz boost with 6MB of L3 cache and a 35W TDP.</p><p> The integrated graphics on the 6400T is a GT2 with 24 execution units and base clockspeed of 350MHz (boost speed isn't known).</p><p> It appears that the original source replaced the benchmark screenshots, likely due to hotlink abuse. However, <em>WCCFTech</em> managed to <a href="">grab a few results</a> before they disappeared. Here they are:</p><ul> <li>DDR4 Cinebench: 37.33fps (OpenGL), 415cb (CPU)</li> <li>DDR3 Cinebench: 36.69fps (OpenGL), 417cb (CPU)</li></ul><ul> <li>DDR4 3DMark 11 Entry: 2,582</li> <li>DDR3 3DMark 11 Entry: 2,548</li></ul><ul> <li>DDR4 3DMark 11 Performance: 1,394</li> <li>DDR3 3DMark 11 Performance: 1,349 </li></ul><ul> <li>DDR4 Resident Evil 5: 63.2fps</li> <li>DDR3 Resident Evil 5: 58.5fps</li></ul><p> There's also a discrepancy in the DirectX version used to test Resident Evil 5 -- DX9 on the DDR4 setup and DX10 on the DDR3 system.</p><p> So, what can we gather from these benchmarks? Even though the test systems use different amounts of RAM that heavily favor the DDR4 config, the performance gains don't blow the DDR3 setup out of the water. That's good news if you're hoping to recycle your DDR3 system memory and want to upgrade to Skylake, and potentially bad news if you paid a premium on DDR4 expecting big performance gains.</p><p> That said, it's a bit early to really know how things will shake out. Higher end motherboards, mature drivers, and evening the playing field with the same amount of RAM could paint a different picture. However, if you're rooting for DDR3 to remain relevant, the above results are at least encouraging.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Overclocker Takes Intel Core i7-6700K to 5.2GHz on Air overclocking results for Skylake-S look impressive.Mon, 20 Jul 2015 17:26:01 +0000 <h3>Sky's the limit for Skylake-S</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Cpu Z"></p><p> Intel is gearing up to launch its Skylake processors at the beginning of next month (the rumored launch is August 5), and most of <a href="">what we've seen</a> so far about the new architecture has been impressive. You can add overclocking potential to the list.</p><p> Chinese-language website <em>HKEPC</em> posted a CPU-Z image to its <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook page</a> that shows an Intel Core i7-6700K running at 5.2GHz (well, 5,198.75MHz, to be exact), which is a pretty significant jump from its stock 4GHz core and 4.2GHz boost clockspeeds.</p><p> What's even better is that the overclock didn't require an insane amount of voltage or exotic cooling. According to <em>HKEPC</em>, the overclock was achieved at 1.35V using <strong>air</strong> cooling, not water or LN2.</p><p> Assuming the overclock is legit, this bodes well for Skylake-S, and the Core i7-6700K in particular. As a refresher, the 6700K is quad-core processor built on a 14nm manufacturing process. In addition to the aforementioned clockspeeds, it also has 8MB of L3 cache, 95W TDP, and can support DDR4-2133 and DDR3L-1600 memory.&nbsp;</p><p> On the graphics side, <em><a href="" target="_blank">WCCFTech reports</a></em> it's running a GT2 graphics part with 24 execution units, 350MHz base and 1,250MHz boost clockspeeds, and full support for DirectX 12.</p><p> The specs are similar to the Core i7-4790K (Devil's Canyon), but with faster graphics, a 200MHz slower boost, and of course several architectural upgrades that improve the performance per clock and power efficiency.</p><p> Skylake-S processors will require a new socket -- LGA 1151. We've already seen a spattering of <a href="">Z170-chipset boards</a>, and when the line of CPUs launches, you can bet there will be a fair number of mobos to choose from as well.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Hackers Infiltrate Adultery Website Ashley Madison, Threatens Mass Data Dump group The Impact Team has threatened to reveal the identity of 37 million Ashley Madison users.Mon, 20 Jul 2015 16:14:58 +0000 <h3>Over 37 million accounts compromised</h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Ashley Madison"></p><p> "Like us or not, this is still a criminal act." Those are the words of Noel Biderman, CEO of Avid Life Media, the Toronto-based firm that owns, a hookup website with the tagline, "Life is short. Have an affair." He said them in a statement to <a href="" target="_blank">KrebsOnSecurity</a> after it was discovered that a person or band of hackers broke into the site's database and stole personal details of more than 37 million members.</p><p> The person or people responsible used the name The Impact Team. There's already been a data dump containing personal information about a large number of users, but there's a lingering threat to publicize the details of each and every member if Ashley Madison doesn't shut itself down.</p><p> While The Impact Team clearly takes issue with the site helping to facilitate affairs, it's an an allegedly misleading $19 service that purports to erase all details about a customer that seems to have prompted the attack.</p><p> "Too bad for those men, they’re cheating dirtbags and deserve no such discretion," The Impact Team stated in a manifesto posted to Ashley Madison. "Too bad for ALM, you promised secrecy but didn’t deliver. We’ve got the complete set of profiles in our DB dumps, and we’ll release them soon if Ashley Madison stays online. And with over 37 million members, mostly from the U.S. and Canada, a significant percentage of the population is about to have a very bad day, including many rich and powerful people."</p><p> Since the attack took place, Ashley Media said its been able to "secure" its sites "and close unauthorized access points." It's currently working with law enforcement agencies to track down the person or people responsible. ALM also issued the <a href="" target="_blank">following update</a> today:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <em>Following the earlier unprovoked and criminal intrusion into our system, Avid Life Media immediately engaged one of the world’s top IT security teams to take every possible step toward mitigating the attack.</em></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <em>Using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), our team has now successfully removed the posts related to this incident as well as all Personally Identifiable Information (PII) about our users published online. We have always had the confidentiality of our customers’ information foremost in our minds and are pleased that the provisions included in the DMCA have been effective in addressing this matter.</em></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <em>Our team of forensics experts and security professionals, in addition to law enforcement, are continuing to investigate this incident and we will continue to provide updates as they become available.</em></p><p> The security breach comes less than two months after hackers stole and leaked information about millions of members of another hookup site, AdultFriendFinder.</p><p> <em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> HP is Offering Steep Discounts on Some of Its Windows 8.1 PCs to$350 off on laptops and desktops.Mon, 20 Jul 2015 13:36:39 +0000 10windows 8.1 <h3> “Buy one, get ‘10’ free” </h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="HP Windows 8.1 Sale"></p><p>With the countdown to Windows 10 in its final phase, don’t be surprised if you find PC vendors offering some steep discounts on older, Windows 8.1-running models like Hewlett-Packard is currently doing. The company is offering discounts of up to $350 on some of “our most popular Windows PCs.”</p><p> As of writing this, the company’s “<a href=";searchTerm=win8+clearance&amp;search=%EF%80%A1&amp;beginIndex=0&amp;catalogId=10051&amp;charset=utf-8&amp;langId=-1&amp;pageSize=50&amp;pageView=grid&amp;resultCatEntryType=2&amp;sType=SimpleSearch&amp;searchSource=Q&amp;storeId=10151&amp;jumpid=LP_Win8_all" target="_blank">win8 clearanc</a>e” sale includes as many as 19 different items. There are six all-in-one PCs, five desktops and eight laptops. Here are some of the top deals (as first identified by&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Windows Central</a>):</p><ul><li>HP Envy X2 13-inch - $699.99 as against $1049.99</li><li>HP Envy X2 15-inch - $649.99 down from $899.99</li><li>HP Envy Phoenix 810-470 Desktop - $799.99 down from $999.99</li><li>HP Pavilion 23-inch All-in-One - $599.99 from $829.99</li></ul><p> The best part is you won’t have to put up with Windows 8.1 for too long should you opt for one of these devices, for all these machines are eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10.</p> Replacing Intel Compute Stick’s Stock OS is a Surefire Way to Void Your Warranty HDMI-based PC dongle currently only ships with Windows 8.1 with Bing, buta Ubuntu-running variant is on its way.Mon, 20 Jul 2015 11:50:44 +0000 stickintelNews <h3> Intel wants you to stick to the original operating system </h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Intel Compute Stick"></p><p>As you may be aware, Intel has plans to offer a Ubuntu 14.04-running variant of its Compute Stick, PC-on-a-stick device that’s powered by the chip maker’s quad-core Atom Z3735F “Bay Trail” processor. While this new model will be a good $40 cheaper than its $150 Windows-running counterpart, you’ll have to settle for just 1GB of RAM (versus 2GB in the latter) and 8GB of storage (versus 32GB in the latter). That being said, what’s to stop an open source enthusiast in possession of the more powerful variant from replacing the stock OS with Ubuntu or some other Linux distro of their choice?</p><p> According to our friends over at&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Softpedia</a>, installing any other operating system than the one your Intel Compute Stick came with will void the device warranty. The site found this info hiding in plain sight on the chip maker’s website. This could be a deal breaker for some, especially considering how the PC-on-a-stick isn’t a particularly great device to begin with.</p><p> Here is what the page in question says: “Operating system other than the ones listed [Windows 8.1 Bing for the $150 model and Ubuntu 14.04 for the $110 variant] are not supported and do not have drivers available. Installing a different operating system voids the Intel Compute Stick warranty.”</p> Acer Readying Dirt-Cheap Windows 10 Notebooks to Take On Chromebooks the world's leading Chromebook vendor is onboard.Mon, 20 Jul 2015 07:56:13 +0000 10 <h3> The Acer Aspire One Cloudbook will undercut the company’s own Chromebook offerings </h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Acer Cloudbook"></p><p>The upcoming launch of Windows 10 could see Microsoft approach its fight against Chromebooks with renewed vigor. The company offered a glimpse of what’s to come on this front at its Worldwide Partner Conference, where it showcased a dirt-cheap Windows 10 notebook from Acer.</p><p> The device in question is called the Acer Aspire One Cloudbook and will be available in mid-August. It was further revealed that the notebook will be available in 11- and 14-inch sizes, with prices starting at $169. Although the exact specs aren’t known at this stage, it’s perhaps safe to say that whatever’s in there is unlikely to set the world on fire.</p><p> At that price point, the forthcoming device’s base variant will be a good $30 cheaper than the least expensive Chromebook from Acer’s own stable. (Note: The latter isn’t available yet, but should go on sale very soon.) And to think this is the same company that&nbsp;usually takes&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">great pride in its dominance of the Chromebook segment.</a></p> Microsoft Flips Switch on Xbox One’s In-Home Streaming Feature can now stream your Xbox One games to your Windows 10 PC.Mon, 20 Jul 2015 06:24:33 +0000 streamingNewswindows 10xbox one <h3> Open to all those who’ve a Windows 10 PC and an Xbox One console </h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Party1 Hero"></p><p>A little over a month after Microsoft enabled it for members of the Xbox One preview program, the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">ability to stream Xbox One games to Windows 10 devices is now available for everyone</a>. To be clear, “everyone" here means anyone with an Xbox One and a PC running the latest build of Windows 10 Insider Preview.</p><p> With this functionality, you’re not merely limited to streaming individual games but can access the entire Xbox One interface from your PC. However, this is strictly in-home streaming that we’re talking about here &mdash; one that requires both the console and the PC to be on the same network.</p><p> If you tick all of the above boxes, it’s fairly easy to get started. Simply toggle the in-home streaming option by going to <em>Settings &gt; Preferences &gt; Allow game streaming to other devices</em> on your Xbox One. Once that’s out of the way, move to your PC, fire up the Xbox One app (make sure you’ve version 7.7.16004.00000 or higher), and add your console from the <em>Connect &gt; + Add a device</em>. Finally, select the console you just added from <em>Home &gt; Game Streaming</em> to begin streaming. (You can also directly go to a game by using the Play from Console option under <em>Home &gt; Recently Played</em>.)</p> Shenmue 3 Reigns As Biggest Kickstarter Game Ever 3 broke a Kickstarter record.Fri, 17 Jul 2015 20:30:39 +0000 <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Shenmue3"></p><p><a href="">The Verge reports</a> that Shenmue 3 has become the most funded video game on Kickstarter to date, surpassing Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, which raised $5,545,991 as of June 11. As of this article, the&nbsp;Shenmue 3 project has just 7 hours to go and has gathered $5,779,046 from 63,856 backers. Yup, we have a new champ, folks.</p><p>Shenmue 3 is slated for a December 2017 release&nbsp;and is a “true sequel” to the original Shenmue and Shenmue 2 chapters. The game will be offered as physical and digital copies for the PlayStation 4 and Windows PC and will be based on Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4.</p><p>“If you were not around in 1999 when Shenmue first came out, or did not have the opportunity to play it if you were, you may have missed this game which has gone on to win the hearts of gamers everywhere, and influenced so many games to come after it,” the Kickstarter page reads.</p><p>The story focuses on Ryo Hazuki who travels to China from Japan to seek out his father’s killer. The Kickstarter page reveals that Hazuki studies Kung-fu and will make both friends and enemies during his training. The game is open world, meaning that players can take their time in following the story. Shenmue is even packed full of mini-games to play.</p><p>“If Shenmue 3 was going to get made, I wanted to make it with the fans. Through Kickstarter, I knew that could happen. Together, with Shenmue fans everywhere, I knew we could build the game that the series deserves,” says Yu Suzuki.</p><p>The first Shenmue game appeared on the Sega Dreamcast back in November 2000 here in the States, followed by <a href="">Shenmue II in 2002</a> on the Dreamcast and Xbox consoles. Both were developed in the same timeframe and featured not only an open world, but some fighting action, role-playing and life simulation.</p><p>According to the Kickstarter page, the new entry will be similar to the first two but feature “new fight mechanics” that will pull gamers into the virtual world like never before. Suzuki aims to not only reward long-time fans of the series, but to draw in a new audience with updated gameplay.</p><p>The Kickstarter project originally sought out $2 million. However, the stretch goals reach $11 million, which will expand the Bailu Village and add a magic maze. Other goals include expanding the battle system, expanding the Choudu area, adding more mini games, adding a part-time job and more.</p><p>Image: Ys Net</p> Newegg Daily Deals: Monitors, Monitors, and More Monitors! you're still rocking a bulky CRT monitor, you're doing it wrong. Yes, we know, color accuracy and all that jazz. But you can also get a flat screen display with good color accuracy, along with more pixel real estate than you shake a stick at.Fri, 17 Jul 2015 20:12:57 +0000 dealsNeweggNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Samsung 4K Monitor"></p><p><strong>Top Deal:</strong></p><p>If you're still rocking a bulky CRT monitor, you're doing it wrong. Yes, we know, color accuracy and all that jazz. But you can also get a flat screen display with good color accuracy, along with more pixel real estate than you shake a stick at. To wit, check out today's top deal for a <a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-DISPLAY-N82E16824022020-_-0717&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Samsung U32D970Q 31.-inch 4K Monitor</a> for <strong>$1,170</strong> with free shipping (normally $1,300 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKV26</strong>]). This puppy boats a PLS panel wit ha 3,840x2,160 resolution and nearly a dozen calibration modes.</p><p><strong>Other Deals:</strong></p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-DISPLAY-N82E16824236451-_-0717&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Asus MX259H Black 25-inch 5ms IPS Panel LCD Monitor w/ Built-In Speakers</a> for <strong>$203</strong> with free shipping (normally $225 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKV26</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-DISPLAY-N82E16824009659-_-0717&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Acer B286HK ymjdpprz Black 28-inch 2ms 4K MHL LCD Monitor w/ Built-in Speakers</a> for <strong>$405</strong> with free shipping (normally $450 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKV26</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-DISPLAY-N82E16824014370-_-0717&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">BenQ XL2420Z 24-inch 3D Gaming LCD Monitor</a> for <strong>$297</strong> with free shipping (normally $330 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKV26</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-DISPLAY-N82E16824260246-_-0717&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Dell E2414Hr Black 24-inch 5ms Backlight LCD Monito</a>r for <strong>$131</strong> with free shipping (normally $145 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKV26 </strong>])</p> Asus Gives 'Strix' Treatment to Radeon R9 Fury Radeon R9 Fury dressed up in a custom cooler.Fri, 17 Jul 2015 19:52:39 +0000 cardsNews <h3>A quieter R9 Fury</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Asus Strix R9 Fury"></p><p> Asus on Friday <a href="" target="_blank">announced</a> the Strix R9 Fury, and as with other Strix-branded graphics card, this one comes with a custom cooling solution sporting the new DirecutCU III air cooler. According to Asus, its Strix cooler keeps things 30 percent chillier than reference while being up to three times quieter.</p><p> The Strix cooler features two 10mm heatpipes that make direct contact with the GPU. It also has three fans with a new wing-blade design that supposedly offers a 105 percent improvement compared to traditional fan blades.</p><p> AMD's Radeon R9 Fury has 3,584 shader processors, 224 texture units, 64 ROPs, and 4GB of HBM memory. The Strix model has an OC mode that gooses the GPU 1,020MHz, compared to up to 1,000MHz for reference cards.</p><p> While nothing is guaranteed, you can probably push the card further. In addition to superior cooling, it has a 12-phase power design (up from 8-phase on reference cards) and high quality "Super Ally Power II" components to reduce power loss, decrease buzzing under load, and lower temps.</p><p> Asus didn't say how much the Strix R9 Fury costs or when it will be available to purchase, the latter of which is a big question mark for R9 Fury in general -- R9 Fury of any make and model are currently hard to find.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Microsoft Addresses Windows 10 Subscription Fears with 10 Year Support Commitment's extended support for Windows 10 goes to October 2025.Fri, 17 Jul 2015 19:27:40 +0000 10 <h3>A decade of support</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Windows 10 Satya Nadella"></p><p> As close as we are to the release of Windows 10, there are still some questions that remain. Microsoft seems to have answered one of the biggest ones by today officially committing to support Windows 10 for the next 10 years.</p><p> The Redmond software giant updated its <a href="" target="_blank">support lifecycle page</a> to reflect that mainstream support for Windows 10 will run until October 13, 2020, with an extended support phase that lasts until October 14, 2025.</p><p> Microsoft's support policy should put to rest fears that it would begin charging users a subscription fee to use Windows 10. That was the big "gotcha" some people were bracing for when it was first announced that Windows 10 would be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users for the first year. However, all that really meant was that qualified users who didn't upgrade for free during the first year, they'd have to buy a Windows 10 license, pre-orders for which are already being taken at places like <a href="" target="_blank">Newegg</a> and <a href="">Amazon</a>.</p><p> Nevertheless, there was still concern that the transition to a Windows as a Service (WaaS) would one day mean a subscription cost, much like Office 365. Concerns were exacerbated when Microsoft's Tyer Myerson said that "once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device at no charge."</p><p> The "supported lifetime" disclaimer gave Microsoft an out if it wanted to suddenly charge a subscription. However, by committing to support the OS for 10 years, it seems like a subscription fee is something users will not need to worry about in the immediate future.</p><p> At the same time, there is a caveat -- users must keep their devices supported.</p><p> "Updates are cumulative, with each update built upon all of the updates that preceded it. A device needs to install the latest update to remain supported," Microsoft states in fine print. "Updates may include new features, fixes (security and/or non-security), or a combination of both. Not all features in an update will work on all devices. A device may not be able to receive updates if the device hardware is incompatible, lacking current drivers, or otherwise outside of the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s ('OEM') support period. Update availability may vary, for example by country, region, network connectivity, mobile operator (e.g., for cellular-capable devices), or hardware capabilities (including, e.g., free disk space)."</p><p> In <a href="">related news</a>, for better or worse Windows 10 Home users will not be able to disable automatic updates. Windows 10 Pro users will have up to 8 months to apply updates, after which they either need to install them or they won't receive any future ones.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> AMD Preps Tiny Radeon R9 Nano Graphics Card for August Release new graphics card for mini ITX builds.Fri, 17 Jul 2015 17:27:55 +0000 cardNews <h3>A little graphics card with big performance</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="AMD Radeon R9 Nano"></p><p> Size doesn't matter when it comes to graphics cards, hence why we've seen some powerful options for mini ITX form factor systems. And come August, AMD will release its Radeon R9 Nano, yet another option in the mini ITX sector.</p><p> AMD confirmed the August launch during an earnings call for its second quarter of fiscal of 2015, though the chip designer didn't offer up a specific date.</p><p> "Fury just launched, actually this week, and we will be launching Nano in the August timeframe," said AMD CEO Lisa Su.</p><p> The Radeon R9 Nano is another part that will take advantage of High Bandwidth Memory (HBM). It will measure just six inches long, which is even shorter than the Fury X at 7.64 inches. But unlike the flagship Fury X, the R9 Nano won't require (or come with) a liquid cooling setup.</p><p> According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">WCCFTech</a></em> and what are purported to be leaked slides from AMD, the R9 Nano will be based on Fiji XT with twice the performance per watt and twice the performance density of AMD's prior top-end Radeon R9 290X.</p><p> Other rumored specs include 16 render backends for a total of 64 ROPs, 4,096 stream processors, and 256 texture mapping units. The GPU will be clocked around 890MHz while the and the 4GB of HBM memory will run at 500MHz on a 4,096-bit bus.</p><p> What that all translates into is a smaller and slower clocked version of Fury X that you can stuff into a mini ITX system. In fact, if the rumored specs are anywhere near accurate, the R9 Nano will easily be the fastest mini ITX graphics solution available.</p><p> There's no info yet on pricing, though as a point of reference, the Fury X launched at $649.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Email Spam Level Plummets to 12-Year Low firm Symantec says spam levels are the lowest they've been since September 2003.Fri, 17 Jul 2015 16:38:22 +0000 <h3>Spam Spam Spam Humbug</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Spam Lite"></p><p> First of all, award yourself 1,000 geek cred points if you got the "spam spam spam humbug" reference without Googling (or <a href="">Binging or DuckDuckGoing</a> or whatever). However, that's not the story here. The real point of focus is that spam is now at its lowest level over a decade, according to security outfit Symantec.</p><p> In its <a href="" target="_blank">June 2015 Intelligence Report (PDF)</a>, Symantec notes that the rate of spam has dropped to 49.7 percent. The last time Symantec recorded a spam rate below 50 percent was September...2003!</p><p> This is a big deal, and not just because spam is annoying (which it most definitely is), but also due to the security threat unwanted emails pose. Spam is a popular vehicle for delivering malware, both by way of infected attachments and URLs. So, it's not a surprise that Symantec also noticed a decline in phishing attempts.</p><p> "Phishing rates and email-based malware were also down this month. However, there were 57.6 million new malware variants created in June, up from 44.5 million pieces of malware created in May and 29.2 million in April," Symantec said. "This increase in activity lends more evidence to the idea that, with the continued drops in email-based malicious activity, attackers are simply moving to other areas of the threat landscape."</p><p> We'll probably never see the end of spam altogether, and being able to celebrate that just less than half of all email is junk is pretty telling. At the same time, it's also becoming more manageable. <a href="">According to Google</a>, its Gmail service thwarts 99.9 percent of all spam, and the company isn't stopping there. Google recently outlined some new ways it plans on reducing spam even further, including technological upgrades.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> This Is Mario and Sonic in Unreal Engine 4 is Sonic andMario depicted in Epic's Unreal Engine 4.Fri, 17 Jul 2015 16:16:36 +0000 engine 4 <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Mario Ue4"></p><p>Back in March 2015, <a href="">Epic Games announced</a> that it was dropping the $19 per month subscription fee for Unreal Engine 4 and making the software free for anyone to use. The catch is that when customers ship a game or application, Epic will receive a small 5 percent royalty on gross revenue after the first $3,000 “per product, per quarter.” Thus, Epic Games will only rake in money if the developer makes money.</p><p>“Our goal is to give you absolutely everything, so that you can do anything and be in control of your schedule and your destiny,” Tim Sweeney said. “Whatever you require to build and ship your game, you can find it in UE4, source it in the Marketplace, or build it yourself – and then share it with others.”</p><p>Recently several videos have popped up on YouTube showing popular video icons in Unreal Engine 4. The first is Aryoksini who uploaded <a href=";v=VUKcSiAPJoQ">an awesome video of Mario</a>. “All the environment assets were taken from the Unreal marketplace, all the character actions were scripted using blueprints only, all animations were re-created from scratch as well as the PBR ready textures,” the caption reads.</p><iframe width="854" height="510" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>The Mario video is astonishingly beautiful, showing what our favorite plumber could look like in a next-generation game using the popular engine. The video throws Mario in a number of scenarios ranging from a castle interior to the cartoony world Mario has saved over and over to real-world settings such as a kitchen. All the while he’s collecting coins and jumping about in his usual trademark fashion.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Sonic Ue4"></p><p>In addition to Mario, <a href="">CryZENx took to YouTube</a> to upload a video featuring Sonic the Hedgehog. The popular SEGA icon is placed inside Unreal Engine 4’s Kite demo, which contains “miles” of green hills. Like Mario, the hedgehog stays true to the official mascot, blazing through rolling plains of grass and jumping at amazing heights. Not only does the demo show what Sonic will look like, but what Unreal Engine 4 can do, and it’s astonishing.</p><p>For more information about obtaining Unreal Engine 4, <a href="">head here</a>.</p> Microsoft Will Force Automatic Updates to Windows 10 Home Users EULA for Windows 10 Home currently requires users to agree to receive automatic updates.Fri, 17 Jul 2015 15:58:19 +0000 10 <h3>Microsoft's way or the highway</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Windows 10"></p><p> If you're planning to install Windows 10, be aware that you must first agree to receive automatic updates from the mothership. Or at least that's a requirement that's currently laid out in the end user license agreement (EULA) as currently constructed, which was released with the <a href="">Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 10240</a>.</p><p> Here's what the pertinent section says about it:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <em>The Software periodically checks for system and app updates, and downloads and installs them for you.</em></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <em> You may obtain updates only from Microsoft or authorized sources, and Microsoft may need to update your system to provide you with those updates.</em></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"> <em> By accepting this agreement, you agree to receive these types of automatic updates without any additional notice.</em></p><p> It's the first build of Windows 10 to make automatic updates a requirement for Home users, whereas previous versions let you put them off. Might the policy change? That depends on the public outcry, but as it stands now, Microsoft is planning to make the above wording part of the official EULA.</p><p> "The license terms for Windows 10 require automatic updates be enabled as part of keeping our customers secure and delivering Windows as a service," Microsoft told <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Recode</em></a>.</p><p> It will be a little different for Windows 10 Pro users, who will have up to 8 months to put off updating. If they still haven't updated after 8 months, no future updates will available.</p><p> "Customers who are embracing Current Branch for Business do need to consume that feature update within the allotted time period of approximately eight months or they will not be able to see and consume the next security update," said Helen Marmetz, Microsoft's Senior Product Marketing Manager, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>Neowin</em></a>.</p><p> There's a logical reason for forcing automatic updates on Home users. With Windows 10, Microsoft is transitioning to a Windows as a Service (Waas) model, which means a more steady stream of minor updates rather than rolling out large Service Packs and brand new versions of Windows every so often.</p><p> However, just because it's logical doesn't necessarily mean it's a good idea. Though relatively infrequent, Windows updates have been known to bork systems in the past, which is one reason why some users put off installing them right away. It's an annoyance at best, and at worst, a major headache for users on a mission critical machine. Plus they could bring about changes that users don't want, like removing features.</p><p> What's your opinion on this? Is forcing automatic updates a non-issue, a good idea, or a disaster in the making?</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build It: The Anatomy of a Powerhouse, an eight-core Intel CPU, three video cards, and a new Samsung SSD walk into a barFri, 17 Jul 2015 07:00:00 +0000 <p><em>This article was published in the February 2015 issue of </em>Maximum PC<em>. For more trusted reviews and feature stories,<a href=""> subscribe here</a>.</em></p><h3>So, an eight-core Intel CPU, three video cards, and a new Samsung SSD walk into a bar&hellip;</h3><p><em>Length of Time 2-4 Hours | Difficulty: Medium</em></p><h5>The Mission</h5><p><img class="pulled-image pull-right" style="margin: 0px 0px 10px 10px;" data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="MPC108.rd"></p><p>Over the course of a year, hardware comes into the Maximum PC lair in trickles and deluges. We also end up stockpiling things we don’t have an ideal use for. This month, a convergence of timing and opportunity leads us to this point: something kind of ridiculous, but also very good-looking and beefy. In other words, perfect Maximum PC material. We try to do different kinds of systems for a variety of budgets, but sometimes it’s just more entertaining to put dollar signs aside and assemble the craziest Voltron we have the parts for.</p><p>One piece of gear&mdash;the CPU cooler&mdash;is new enough to us that we haven’t reviewed it before, while the Samsung 850 EVO SSD is fresh in the lab. In fact, the drive was still under NDA (non-disclosure agreement) as we were putting this system together. That means we might have gotten in trouble if we’d even publicly confirmed its existence. Now we can pull back the curtains.</p><h5>If You Build It, They Will Come</h5><p><img class="pulled-image pull-right" style="margin: 0px 0px 10px 10px;" data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Build It Ingredients"></p><p>We’ve been meaning to put the Corsair 760T full-tower case to use for some time. We’ve had it long enough that Corsair has produced the 780T as an evolution of it (we’ll be getting our grubby hands on that one soon). This build will make ample use of a full-tower’s dimensions, and the 760T has generous options for airflow. We’ve done two 980 video cards already, but not three. Powering them is a monster 1,600-watt EVGA power supply we’ve repurposed from the Dream Machine. It’s a lot more juice than this system will ever need, even if we were to add a fourth GTX 980 and overclock everything to the hilt. But it seemed a shame for such fine equipment to go unused.</p><p>We’ve built for an eight-core Intel Haswell-E CPU before, but not actually used the full-blown eight-core job. We used 6TB hard drives in the Dream Machine, but not in a real-world build. And this is the first time we’ve wrangled the Cooler Master Nepton 240M CPU cooler and the Samsung 850 EVO SSD. We also have a motherboard from ASRock, which doesn’t get a lot of representation at the premium tier. There’s also 32GB of Corsair Dominator DDR4 RAM in the mix. But if this all sounds complicated, it’s really more like LEGO parts than rocket science. The most time-consuming element is just giving the system a clean look after putting this much gear inside.</p><h5>1. You Can Only Hope to Contain It</h5><p><img class="" style="display: block; margin: auto;" data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="MPC108.rd buildit.1"></p><p>Like the Corsair Obsidian 750D, the 760T has a magnetized cover on the top of the case. This time, it’s hard plastic instead of a mesh. Since we’re exhausting air and not pulling it in, the lower airflow isn’t a big deal, and this style is a bit cooler-looking. The top of the 760T takes 280mm and 360mm radiators, as well. If you’re into serious overclocking, then a CPU the size of the Core i7-5960X would benefit from larger rads.</p><p>As its name implies, our Nepton 240M cooler uses a 240mm rad, which is fine for less ambitious octo-core overclocking. However, if you want to install your fans on the underside of the rad, the 760T uses rubber grommets for which the Nepton’s mounting screws are too short. You can get a variety of machine screws at your local hardware store.</p><h5>2. Becoming Unhinged</h5><p><img class="" style="display: block; margin: auto;" data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="MPC108.rd buildit.2"></p><p>This next shot demonstrates a couple of interesting properties. The main one is the 760T’s side panel. It’s actually a swing-out door with a levered handle, like on the Thermaltake Level 10 GT. When it’s rotated this far out, you can lift it off its hinge and set it aside. No screws to deal with. We’ve also removed one 3.5-inch drive cage and mounted the other one right below the 5.25 drive bay. We did that mostly just to see what it looks like, but also to help visualize the placement of custom water cooling gear like reservoirs and pumps. Our SSD is secretly mounted behind the drive cage, on the same plane as the motherboard.</p><h5>3. Down Under</h5><p><img class="" style="display: block; margin: auto;" data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="MPC108.rd buildit.3"></p><p>Looking at the underside of the case, we have a set of six screws holding down the two drive cages. Two screws hold down the cage that’s closest to the front of the case. It feels secure despite being half as many as we’d like, and you don’t need to remove the case’s front foot to access the screws holding down the cage. Removing the four-screw cage reveals a 120mm fan mount. This is ideal for intake, but you’ll have to keep an eye on dust or add your own filter. To the right of that is the intake for the power supply, which comes with a slide-out filter.</p><h5>4. Getting In My Grill</h5><p><img class="" style="display: block; margin: auto;" data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="MPC108.rd buildit.4"></p><p>The front of the case has two 140mm fans pre-installed. The blades are made of clear plastic, presumably to let custom lighting shine through better. The case comes with a two-speed fan controller pre-installed, but we chose to skip it when wiring things up, in favor of testing the fan headers on the motherboard. We’d recommend a fan cable extension or two, because the cables on the front fans are not especially long. In contrast to the 750D, the fan grill on the 760T can be removed completely, making for easier access. In both cases, the grill snaps in and out easily. No screws or yanking required. If you remove the other 3.5 drive cage (or mount it over the 120mm fan on the bottom of the case) you could squeeze in a 240mm radiator, if you wanted. The 780T has even more room up front, enough to comfortably accommodate a 280mm radiator.</p><h5>5. Building Bridges</h5><p><img class="" style="display: block; margin: auto;" data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="MPC108.rd buildit.5"></p><p>One of the fun things about building with Nvidia cards is their SLI bridges. This fancy job comes courtesy of EVGA, and its design matches that of our cards, which use the “reference” design of the base model. At 30 bucks, the bridge is not cheap. But when this machine is powered on, the logo lights up green to match the lighting of the letters on the cards. The top section of the bridge is just barely short enough to wedge in underneath the case’s pre-installed 140mm exhaust fan. It’s one of the tightest clearances we’ve dealt with. You can flip it around and get a lot more space, but then the Nvidia logo is upside-down, which irks us. To get the GTX 980s installed this close together, by the way, you need to unscrew a raised plate near the cable connectors on the other end.</p><h5>6. Tangles and Dangles</h5><p><img class="" style="display: block; margin: auto;" data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="MPC108.rd buildit.6"></p><p>With three video cards, five fans, and two storage devices, there’s a lot of cabling. We switched to the kit of individually sleeved cables to lend some flexibility, but we’d have liked to have made more adjustments, if we’d had time. The case comes with four 2.5-inch trays, but we removed all but one to make room. Since we didn’t wire up the fan controller, we fed its cables back, tucking them into the empty 5.25-inch drive bay. The 8-pin PCI Express cables have two of their six pins on a separate cable, so we snaked the spares up with the fan controller cables. (The reference GTX 980 needs only 6-pin cables.) The cable connecting the front USB 2.0 ports to the mobo was just long enough to reach. You can buy extension cables online.</p><p><img class="" style="display: block; margin: auto;" data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Gutshot page69"></p><p><em><strong>1.) The heatpipes on the mobo’s heatsinks boost the heat the voltage regulators can handle, which helps with overclocks. 2.) There’s enough clearance above the motherboard to fit a 38mm radiator, rather than the standard 25mm kind. 3.) Like Intel’s X79 motherboards, the X99 version has eight ram slots and can take up to 128gB of ddr4 (but no DDR3). 4.) This power supply has so many plugs to choose from that we can connect all of these while leaving enough space to install a fan below.</strong></em></p><h3>The Three Musketeers</h3><p>One of the advantages of working with an X79 or X99 system is its support of more than 16 PCIe lanes. The i7-5960X can wrangle a whopping 40 lanes, in fact. For a pair of high-end video cards, 16 lanes is enough, but just. With the rise of 4K, extra lanes are welcome. Even the best GPUs need to whip out the buddy system to handle a resolution that high.</p><p>With the GTX 980s, our gaming performance was 10–20 percent better than the system we assembled for the May 2014 issue that had three GTX 780s and a hex-core i7-4960K. This month’s system averaged 110fps in Tomb Raider, at 4K, with everything but antialiasing enabled, while the other system didn’t hit 100. Hitman: Absolution also recognized all three cards, so we averaged about 100fps there.</p><p><img class="" style="display: block; margin: auto;" data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Benchmarks"></p><p>The case’s dimensions are also handy when wrangling this much hardware. Despite these cards being over 10-inches long, we didn’t need to remove any drive cages to fit them in. And despite all that cabling, there’s plenty of space behind the motherboard. Sometimes, after you’re done hooking up, you need to basically squish the side panel down until you can secure it. Here, we needed only a gentle push.</p><p>Now, the i7-5960X has a base clock of 3GHz, so we’re never going to hit 5GHz like we did with X79. But because of Haswell’s higher performance, plus the extra cores, multithreaded performance is hugely better. We got this rig up to 4GHz, very respectable for a 240mm closed-loop liquid cooler juggling up to 16 CPU threads. When those are all fully engaged, this chip will trounce 12-thread CPUs that reach 5GHz. For pure gaming, an i7-5960X is a poor choice, but highly threaded tasks like video encoding feast on power like this. Ultimately, we’d recommend a custom cooling loop to get the most out of eight cores. You’d probably want a roomier SSD, too. We used the 850 EVO because it’s new and interesting.</p> Cougar Gives Birth to 550M Gaming Mouse, Cranks Hype Dial to 11 rodent with a "no-nonsense" design.Thu, 16 Jul 2015 20:24:07 +0000 <h3>Not your ordinary mouse (or is it?)</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Cougar 550M"></p><p> Cougar is calling its new <a href="" target="_blank">550M mouse</a> a "flagship gaming" rodent, which is an odd descriptor considering that Cougar also offers at least two seemingly higher end options, the 600M and 700M.</p><p> The hype doesn't stop there. According to Couger, the 550M "is the result of years of continuous work with a single objective: creating the most perfect gaming mouse the world has ever seen." Not just perfect, but <em>most</em> perfect, mind you.</p><p> We're not sure if Cougar took liberally from its bag of hyperbole when announcing the 550M or if the company truly believes it perfected the mouse (for gamers, anyway), a peripheral that's been around for several decades.</p><p> Either way, there are three main things Cougar wants potential buyers to know about the 550M. The first is that it spent a lot of time tweaking the ergonomics. Cougar says it collaborated with several international gaming teams when conceiving the "unique shape" of the 550M, and that the design allows gamers to perform at a high level for extended periods of time without worrying about fatigue.</p><p> Second is the SDNS-3988 optical sensor. It boasts a 6,400 DPI and 1,000Hz (1ms) polling rate, which doesn't sound overly special. However, it's easy to find hardcore gamers who scoff at ultra-high DPI mice. But is the SDNS-3988 all that and a bag of sea salt and vinegar chips? We'll let you know when we get a chance to test one out.</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Cougar 550M Side"></p><p> Moving on, the third thing Cougar wants gamers to know is that the 550M includes the functionality that gamers actually want and "stays away both from gimmicks and from other mice that hide their lack of basic functionality under claims of 'purity' or 'no-nonsense design'," the company says.</p><p> Here's a look at some other specs;</p><ul> <li>Onboard memory: 512KB</li> <li>Switches: Omron gaming switches</li> <li>Profile LED backlight: 2 zone, 16.8 million color options</li> <li>Frame rate: 12,500 FPS</li> <li>Maximum tracking speed: 200 IPS</li> <li>Maximum acceleration: 50G</li> <li>Interface: Gold-plated USB</li> <li>Cable length: 1.8m braided</li> <li>Dimension: 135 (L) x 70 (W) x 45 (H) mm</li> <li>Weight: 120g</li></ul><p> The Cougar 550M will be available starting around late July and early August for $59 MSRP. There will also be a toned down 500M for $39.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Newegg Daily Deals: Intel Core i7-4790, Samsung 850 Evo 1TB SSD, and More! you know what sucks about the playing the waiting game? No matter what technology you wait for, there's always something faster, shinier, and overall better on the horizon. Every. Single. Time. The only way to win the game is not to play at all.Thu, 16 Jul 2015 19:48:56 +0000 dealsNeweggNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Core i7-4790"></p><p>Do you know what sucks about the playing the waiting game? No matter what technology you wait for, there's always something faster, shinier, and overall better on the horizon. Every. Single. Time. The only way to win the game is not to play at all. Of course, we're close enough to Skylake that you might want to hold off for a couple more weeks, but who knows what actual availability will be like. With the right parts selection, you can build a fast PC right now, one that will last a long time. To get started, check out today's top deal for an <a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-CPU-N82E16819116987-_-0716&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Intel Core i7-4790 Desktop Processor</a> for <strong>$290</strong> with free shipping (normally $310 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKT23</strong>]). It's a quad-core Haswell part clocked at 3.6GHz, and if you already own DDR3 RAM, you're ahead of the game.</p><p><strong>Other Deals:</strong></p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-SSD-N82E16820147374-_-0716&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Samsung 850 Evo 2.5-inch 1TB SATA III 3-D Vertical Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)</a> for <strong>$342</strong> with free shipping (normally $380 - use coupon code: [<strong>EXLAVKT22</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-SSD-N82E16820148948-_-0716&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Crucial MX200 2.5-inch 250GB MLC NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)</a> for <strong>$95</strong> with free shipping (normally $103 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKT25</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-MEMORY-N82E16820231609-_-0716&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory</a> for <strong>$84</strong> with free shipping (normally $94 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKT92</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-MOBO-N82E16813130796-_-0716&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">MSI X99S SLI Plus LGA 2011-v3 Intel X99 ATX Intel Motherboard</a> for <strong>$180</strong> with $4 shipping (normally $220 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKT37</strong>])</p> Batman: Arkham Knight PC Won't Be Fixed Until Fall Arkham Knight may not be fixed for a few more months.Thu, 16 Jul 2015 19:06:43 +0000 Arkham KnightGamingNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Batman Arkham Knight"></p><p>Oh what a mess. <a href="">Kotaku Australia</a> has supposedly received a leaked email meant for the eyes of EB Games staff members stating that the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight won’t be fixed until this Spring, or in the case of North America, this Fall.</p><p>According to the report, prior to the email, EB Games had pulled the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight from store shelves. Now EB Games is facing a recall from Warner, meaning that all copies will be returned to the publisher. Yes, apparently the game is <em>that</em> broken.</p><p>“As previously advised, we have stopped sales of Batman: Arkham Knight PC while Warner and Rocksteady work on addressing performance issues with the game,” the email states. “The latest information from Warner is that the updates won’t be available until Spring. Due to this we have made the difficult decision to recall all PC stock from stores to return to the vendor until an acceptable solution is released.”</p><p>Batman: Arkham Knight was ported over to the PC by Iron Galaxy. Since its release, gamers have reported numerous critical performance problems such as crashes, stuttering and wild framerates. Developer Rocksteady Studios issued a small patch, but many performance problems continue to plague the game.</p><p>“Rocksteady is leading our team of developers and partners as we work on the PC performance issues that players have been encountering,” <a href="">the developer said at the end of June</a>. “The work is significant and while we are making good progress on improving performance, it will take some time to ensure that we get the right fixes in place.”</p><p>“While we work on improving performance, we will also continue to make interim patches available to address issues for those still playing the game on PC,” the studio added.</p><p>As it stands now, the game won’t be fixed until the September – November window here in the United States. </p><p>Earlier this month, a quality assurance tester who supposedly worked at Warner for years claimed that the publisher knew there were issues with the PC port before it shipped to gamers and retailers. The individual, along with another source, claimed that Warner believed that the game was good enough for public consumption and had no intention of “screwing over” customers.</p><p>“I will say that it’s pretty rich for WB to act like they had no idea the game was in such a horrible state,” <a href="">the individual told Kotaku</a>. “It’s been like this for months and all the problems we see now were the exact same, unchanged, almost a year ago.”</p><p>Thankfully Batman: Arkham Knight is not an example of the state of PC gaming. Based on the provided information, the game is one title that fell through the cracks and one that is now receiving serious attention. Of course, that won’t stop console fans from laughing at PC gaming from the comforts of their couches.</p><p>So this is the question we had to ask: if the game was in bad shape before the ship date, should Rocksteady and Warner have delayed the release of the PC version?</p> Windows 10 Build 10240 Released, RTM Close's no mention of an RTM in Gabe Aul's latest post.Thu, 16 Jul 2015 19:06:05 +0000 10 <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Windows 10 Boxshots "></p><p>Hot on the heels of an unnamed source claiming that Windows 10 Technical Preview 10240 would be the RTM build, Microsoft released 10240 to Windows Insiders on Wednesday&hellip; and it’s not the RTM. At least, there are no glaring signs pointing to the possibility.</p><p>News of the new 10240 build arrive after Microsoft halted the updates for a 24 hour period. This was to move the distribution from the "fbl_impressive" development branch, which was created specifically for the Technical Preview updates, over to the TH1 branch, which will be used to distribute the RTM and consumer builds.</p><p>“Besides builds, over the next 2 weeks you’ll also see some Windows Updates and app updates in the Store, so make sure to keep checking for updates daily to make sure you’re running the latest and greatest code,” <a href="">Windows Insider boss Gabe Aul said Wednesday evening</a>.</p><p>So what is in the new build? the blog points to Microsoft Edge, which according to Aul, the browser is getting even edgier. He brags that Edge is 112 percent faster than Chrome on WebKit Sunspider, 11 percent faster than Google on Google Octane and 37 percent faster than Chrome on Apple JetStream. OK, we get it&hellip;. Edge is <em>fast</em>.</p><p> Aul also gave a shout out to those who have been testing the new Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint mobile apps on Windows 10.</p><p>“You may have already noticed that on PCs and tablets we’ve added “Mobile” to the app names (to help distinguish them from the Office desktop suite), while on phones we simply call the apps Word, Excel and PowerPoint,” he wrote. We will also remove “Preview” from the app names and in about one week, you will need an Office 365 subscription to edit on Windows 10 PCs and larger tablets.”</p><p>The blog doesn’t really explain what’s in the new Technical Preview build, but does reveal that Microsoft is rather anxious to show the world its latest platform. This build is likely similar to past releases over the last couple of weeks: just as bunch of squashed bugs and some spit shine on the overall experience. </p><p>“This is going to be an exciting couple of weeks, but it is also only the beginning,” Aul wrote. “Windows as a service means that we’ll continue to keep Windows up to date with improvements and features, and our Windows Insider Program will continue so you can get early builds and share your feedback with us.”</p><p>Time to go install the latest build&hellip;</p><p><strong>MORE:</strong><br><a href="">The New Settings ‘App’ in Windows 10<br></a><a href="">This is Windows 10’s Cortana Virtual Personal Assistant<br></a><a href="">Windows 10 Start Menu: The Details<br></a><a href="">Windows 10 Vs. Windows 8.1: The Major Differences<br></a><a href="">This is Windows 10’s Edge Browser<br></a><a href="">The Top 7 Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10</a></p> Falcon Northwest Tiki Review luck finding a more powerful PC in a smaller packageThu, 16 Jul 2015 18:18:03 +0000 Northwest TikiKick-Assmini-itxTitan X <h3> Good luck finding a more powerful PC in a smaller package</h3><p> Back in the day, in order to get an exorbitant amount of PC power, you really needed a hulking desktop. The more likely it was to break your back upon liftoff, the more bad-ass it would be. While a bigger box may give you more legroom for power, little Mini-ITX systems are giving these behemoths a run for their money in performance. On that notion, Falcon Northwest set out to deliver “godlike power” in its Tiki micro tower. After testing it in our Labs, we think even Zeus would be proud.</p><p> In terms of offering performance per cubic inch, Falcon Northwest asserts that there is no better Mini-ITX case than its Tiki chassis. The box measures about four inches across, is made of steel and sandblasted aluminum, and has a big single billet&nbsp;aluminum&nbsp;base at the bottom which keeps it stable. While it certainly will keep the Tiki from easily toppling over, some might not like its ornate aesthetics. It looks a bit like a trophy stand your dad would have sitting in the living room. In addition, it doesn’t allow you to lay the Tiki on its side. This is most likely intended, however, considering that there are vents on both side panels. There are also vents on the top of the case. Ours came in a burgundy red color, which may not be for everyone, but the box also comes in black and a variety of other colors. Falcon Northwest indicated to us that those who want to order the Tiki with the original granite base can still do so.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Falcon Northwest Tiki New"></p><p> Despite the case’s small stature, Falcon Northwest was able to cram in Intel’s top tier 5960X CPU along with 16GB of 2400Mhz RAM in our configuration. All of this sits atop Asrock’s x99E-ITX mobo, which Asrock flaunts as being the first X99 Mini-ITX motherboard. No compromises were made in the graphics department either, as our system came with Nvidia’s top-of-the-line GeForce GTX Titan. This bad boy has a GPU clock of 1102MHz, Memory clock of 1803MHz, a boost clock of 1176MHz, and comes with 12GB of VRAM. And just because this box is heavy on processing power doesn’t mean it's light on storage. Our box came with Intel’s 750 Series 1.2TB PCIe SSD, which garnered ridiculous sequential read and write speeds of 1,527MB/s and 1,299MB/s, respectively in our CrystalDiskMark benchmark. That’s boggles-the-mind fast. Unfortunately system boot up time with the drive was lethargic at 42 seconds. It looks like there are still some kinks to work out with PCIe SSD bootup times. But just because we’ve got over a terabyte of SSD space doesn’t mean there isn’t a massive storage drive. On the contrary, Falcon plopped in a whopping 6TB Western Digital Red drive in here. On paper, this system is such a tiny little beast. We could cry little tears of joy...if we weren’t so manly.</p><p> When it came time to perform, the Tiki stepped up to bat. It’s Asetek-watercooled 5960X beat our zero point’s equivalent 5960X by roughly 4-8 percent in our CPU tests. It didn’t perform as well compared to our ZP in gaming tests, losing by about 40-45 percent, but that’s to be expected considering we’re running three 980s in SLI. Perhaps the best real-world question you should ask of this system is, “Can it game at 4K?” And the answer is yes. As a matter of fact, it can technically play most games at 4K on max settings. It won’t be able to do it at silky smooth 60 fps, but even running the Witcher 3 at 4K on max settings (an extremely taxing game), it managed to garner averages fps in the low 30s, which is impressive. While that’s technically playable, we would opt to decrease the graphical settings for a smoother experience.</p><p> Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Tiki, however, is that it stayed eerily quiet under our benchmarks. At idle, it’s damn near silent. Generally, when you cram this much power into such a small form factor, these little boxes tend to scream for air. Falcon must have employed some black magic to this box, or applied good thermal engineering, but we prefer to think it's the former.</p><p> The Tiki isn’t perfect, however. We had some small gripes with it in that its audio ports aren’t labeled, there’s no eject button for the slot-loading optical drive, and the case is kind of a bitch to open and close. Plus, the box is going to run you around $5,622 with the default black&nbsp;paint job, which isn’t cheap. But in the end, it delivers so much power in a small, beautiful form factor that stays quiet. There’s not much more you can ask for.</p><p> <a href=",">,</a> $6,022</p><p><strong>Benchmarks</strong></p><table><tbody><tr><td></td><td></td><td>0-point</td><td>Falcon Northwest Tiki </td><td>percent difference</td></tr><tr><td>Lower is Better</td><td>Stitch.Efx 2.0 (sec)</td><td>806.0</td><td>768</td><td>4.9%</td></tr><tr><td>Lower is Better</td><td>Proshow Producer 5 (sec)</td><td>1,472.0</td><td>1,363</td><td>8.0%</td></tr><tr><td>Higher is Better</td><td>x264 HD 5.0</td><td>33.8</td><td>35.4</td><td>4.7%</td></tr><tr><td>Higher is Better</td><td>Batman Arkham City GOTY (fps)</td><td>204.0</td><td>122</td><td><p>-40.2%</p></td></tr><tr><td>Higher is Better</td><td>Tomb Raider (fps)</td><td>87.5</td><td>50.5</td><td>-42.3%</td></tr><tr><td>Higher is Better</td><td>3DMark Firestrike</td><td>8,016.0</td><td>4381</td><td>-45.3%</td></tr><tr><td>Higher is Better</td><td>Shadow of Mordor</td><td>70.1</td><td>51.3</td><td>-26.8%</td></tr></tbody></table><p>Our desktop zero point PC uses a 5960X CPU, three GTX 980s, and 16GBs of RAM. Arkham City tested at 2560x1440 max settings with PhysX off. Tomb Raider at Ultimate settings. Shadow of Mordor at Max settings.</p><p><strong>Specifications</strong></p><table><tbody><tr><td>Processor</td><td>3GHz Intel Core i7-5960X</td></tr><tr><td>Mobo</td><td>ASRock X99E-ITX/ac</td></tr><tr><td>RAM</td><td>16GB of DDR4/2400MHz</td></tr><tr><td>Graphics</td><td>GeForce GTX Titan X</td></tr><tr><td>Storage</td><td>1.2TB Intel 750 Series PCIe SSD/6TB HDD</td></tr><tr><td>Optical</td><td>TEAC DV-W28SS-B<br>Slot-Loading DVD Super Multi Drive</td></tr><tr><td>Case/PSU</td><td>Custom/600-watt</td></tr></tbody></table> Oculus Scoops Up Pebbles Interfaces for VR Hand Tracking Technology technology could bring some interesting things to Oculus.Thu, 16 Jul 2015 16:42:51 +0000 reality <h3>I can see my hands!</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Pebbles Interfaces Hands"></p><p> It's hard not to get excited about Oculus Rift, especially with all the moves Oculus VR has been making. The latest play is an agreement to buy Pebblies Interfaces, an Israeli startup that specializes in depth sensing technology and computer vision.</p><p> Using various sensors and algorithms, Pebbles Interfaces is able to take real world objects and dump them into the virtual world. That includes body parts, like your hands and fingers, which the company's technology is able to track.</p><p> "At Pebbles Interfaces, we’ve been focused on pushing the limits of digital sensing technology to accelerate the future of human-computer interaction. Through micro-optics and computer vision, we hope to improve the information that can be extracted from optical sensors, which will help take virtual reality to the next level," said Nadav Grossinger, CTO of Pebbles Interfaces. "We’ve always believed visual computing will be the next major platform in our lifetime, and we’re excited to join the Oculus team to achieve that vision for the future."</p><p> This takes things to a whole new level for Oculus, its headset, and developers who ultimately take advantage of the technology. There's a world of opportunity in being able to see and use your body parts in VR rather than generically rendered bits or controller accessories like the Oculus Touch, which have limited capacity for movement and interaction. Have a look:</p><iframe src="" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" width="620"> </iframe><p> Pebbles Interactive will join the hardware engineering and computer vision teams at Oculus. They'll be tasked with advanced VR, tracking, and human-computer interactions.</p><p> Oculus Rift is scheduled to launch to consumers in the first quarter of 2016.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Intel to Disrupt Annual Tick-Tock Cycle By Delaying Cannonlake to 2017 getting to below 14nm means we'll have to wait a little longer than expected for Cannonlake.Thu, 16 Jul 2015 16:17:58 +0000 <h3>Cannonballing into Cannonlake will have to wait</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Intel Engineers"></p><p> If you were hoping for a 10-nanometer successor to Skylake in 2016, Intel has some bad news. Challenges with the new manufacturing process have prompted Intel to delay its Cannonlake release until "the second half of 2017," according to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.</p><p> Cannonlake was supposed to replace Skylake in 2016 as the next "tick" in Intel's annual "tick-tock" cycle, meaning that it's a die shrink with a few tweaks, not a major new architecture. However, we're at the point in chip fabrication technology where continuing to shrink things gets increasingly difficult.</p><p> According to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>ComputerWorld</em></a>, Intel is adding a new 14nm chip codenamed "Kaby Lake" to its roadmap to account for the delay. It will be "built on the foundations" of Skylake, but include performance tweaks to hold users over until Cannonlake comes out.</p><p> This bump in the road means a disruption in the tick-tock cycle, which now places Intel on a tick-tock-tock schedule -- a first for the world's largest semiconductor player. In this case, Skylake is the tick and both Kaby Lake and Cannonlake are tocks.</p><p> The delay also stretches Moore's Law, which predicts that transistor counts will double every two years (it originally predicted a doubling every year in 1965, but was revised in 1975).</p><p> "These transitions are a natural part of the history of Moore's Law and are a by-product of the technical challenges of shrinking transistors while ensuring they can be manufactured in high volume," Krzanich said.</p><p> While the delay might be disappointing for some, it's part of the game. Intel faced similar challenges when going from 22nm to 14nm, which also prompted delay.</p><p> "The lithography is continuing to get more difficult as you try to scale," Kraznich added.</p><p> In the meantime, Skylake is rumored to launch on August 5 with the introduction of the <a href="">Core i7-6700K</a> and Core i5-6600K.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> D-Link Ships New Wireless AC Router for Consumption's a good entrypoint in setting up a Wireless AC network.Wed, 15 Jul 2015 22:38:09 +0000 <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="859 1"></p><p>Looking to update your current wireless network in the home or office to Wireless AC? D-Link may have the router you’re looking for with the launch of its <a href="">DIR-859</a>. The device is a 1750 class router, which means its combined speeds reach up to 1750 Mbps. Of course, you won’t get those speeds unless the connecting device is packed with dual-band Wireless AC technology.</p><p>"With this new high performance AC1750 router, users can enjoy wider wireless coverage throughout their home," said Ken Loyd, director of product marketing, consumer, D-Link Systems, Inc. "High Power Amplifiers provide the additional coverage needed to connect more Wi-Fi devices."</p><p>Looking at the specifications, the new router will provide speeds of up to 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band and speeds of up to 450 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band. According to the company, this speed is backed by three external antennas and high power amplifiers for a better reach through your home or office than the average router.</p><p>For your wired devices, the router provides four gigabit Ethernet ports and a WAN port&nbsp;on the back. Surprisingly, there is no USB 2.0/3.0 port, which is usually provided for sharing files across the network or adding a printer. Instead, the company crammed the&nbsp;power button and the WPS button on the back, the latter of which should make connecting a device to the network a breeze.</p><p>In addition to those features, the router’s specifications also include WPA and WPA2 security, an advanced QoS engine, the ability to set up a guest network, parental controls, device activity monitoring, a new user interface and more. Customers can easily set up the device using an app for their smartphone or tablet.</p><p>A great compliment to D-Link’s new router would be the <a href="">AC1900 Wi-Fi USB adapter</a> for the desktop or laptop. This device supports speeds of up to 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and up to 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. The adapter includes SmartBeam technology for better connection quality, USB 3.0 for a faster connection to your device and more.</p><p>Customers wanting to get started in creating a Wireless AC network can head to Amazon and other outlets to purchase the new router for a not-too-shabby price of $99.99. The USB adapter we mentioned above is also $99.99. Additional adapters <a href="">can be found here</a>.</p> Ubuntu PC Maker No Longer Bundling Flash With OS's one OEM that won't bundle Flash with its new productsWed, 15 Jul 2015 20:51:58 +0000 <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Linux Lovers to Loathe Adobe No More, 64-Bit Flash Support Arrives"></p><h3>Is this the beginning of a trend?&nbsp;</h3><p>Ubuntu device maker <a href="">System76 recently said in a blog</a> that it will no longer pre-install Adobe Flash on all laptops and desktops. Why? Because the company deems the software a security risk. System76 is even urging its customers to get rid of Flash altogether.</p><p>“Even if you think you need Flash, you should experiment with a trial separation&hellip;. You’ll probably be surprised by how little your web experience changes,” the blog states.</p><p>If customers still need Flash in their daily diet, the company suggests that they use Chrome. Google’s browser includes a sandboxed implementation of the embedded Flash software that may protect users from future zero-day exploits. Still, Chrome’s method isn’t totally immune, so System76 believes the best protection is to get rid of Flash altogether.</p><p>To do so, simply use this command: sudo apt-get purge flashplugin-installer</p><p>The blog points out that Flash is no longer the standard for online media and animation. The date isn’t 2007 and every website isn’t flashing this and that at visitors. Instead, the modern Internet is moving away from Flash and using new, modern tech like HTML5 and CSS&nbsp;3. Browsers such as Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge are even working to minimalize plugins and extensions to make browsing the web easier and safer.</p><p>News of the company’s quest to rid its devices of Flash come after Mozilla began blocking the Flash player in Firefox by default. However, Firefox users wanting to keep Flash alive can re-enable the software in the Add-ons section. The most recent version of Firefox, version 39, doesn’t even come with the plugin installed.</p><p>On Tuesday, Adobe released a new version of the Flash Player that includes patches for CVE-2015-5122 and CVE-2015-5123 (CVE-2015-5119 was patched earlier this week). Originally, all three vulnerabilities were discovered in a 400GB&nbsp;data cache that was stolen from Italian surveillance software vendor Hacking Team.</p><p><a href="">According to Kaspersky Lab</a>, CVE-2015-5122 was an ActionScript 3 opaqueBackground use-after-free bug and CVE-2015-5123 was a BitmapData use-after-free bug. Both depended on the Web surfer landing on a site packing an exploit. These bugs provided complete access to the visitor’s machine. Ouch.</p> Remix Mini Dubbed the First Android PC's an interesting PC outfitted with Android 5.0Wed, 15 Jul 2015 20:20:42 +0000 pcNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Reminx Mini Kickstarter"></p><p>Although there are a number of Android PCs on the market,&nbsp;<a href="">a Kickstarter project</a> is claiming the Remix Mini to be the world’s first “true” Android PC. Developed by Chinese company Jide Tech, the project is seeking $50,000 over the next 44 days. However, it’s already reeled in $99,418 from 1,583 backers as of this article, which indicates that there is plenty of interest in a PC decked out with Android.</p><p>According to the specifications, the Remix Mini measures just 1(H) x 4.9(L) x 3.5(W) inches. Packed inside this small form factor casing is a quad-core, 64-bit Allwinner Cortex-A53 SoC clocked at 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage.</p><p>In addition to those features, the Remix Mini&nbsp;provides&nbsp;two USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet 10/100 port, an HDMI 1.4 port, and a microSD card slot. There's also&nbsp;Wireless N and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and the company’s Android 5.0 “Lollipop”-based <a href="">Remix OS operating system</a>.</p><p>The pricing for this model will be $30 when it finally becomes a product. However, the company also plans to sell a model with 16GB of internal storage and 2GB of RAM. The pricing for this model is a mere $50&hellip; not too shabby.</p><p>“Remix Mini allows you to work and play with the entire Android app ecosystem while taking full advantage of intuitive PC features such as a taskbar, multiple window multi-tasking, mouse and keyboard support, and so much more,” the Kickstarter page reads.</p><p>One of the big selling points is that the device uses very little power. Jide Tech explains that while a standard desktop may consume 60 to 240 watts, the Remix Mini only uses 10 watts. Another selling point is that the Android PC has access to over 1.5 million apps, meaning this forked version of Android may have access to Google’s suite of services.</p><p>Currently, there are five tiers in this Kickstarter project. For those who pledge $200 or more, they will receive five Remix Minis and five power adapters. Pledge $80 or more and receive two Remix Minis and two power adapters. The other tiers include $60 or more, $40 or more and $20 or more. All tiers reveal that the device is expected to ship in October 2015.</p><p>Would Android make a great operating system for a desktop or notebook? Both Lenovo and AOC have produced computers with Google’s OS installed, but they’re not as cheap or as small as the unit Jide Tech is building. Android is mostly used in smartphones and tablets, so it’s interesting to see it used as computer OS. </p><p>To get a Remix Mini when it ships this October, potential backers can spend a mere $20 to get the version with 1GB of RAM. Otherwise, the device will cost $30 when it goes “retail” later this year.</p><p>Image: Jide Tech via Kickstarter</p> Newegg Daily Deals: Intel NUC with Core i5-5250U, Rosewill Challenger Case, and More! the old days of computing, you could have made an reasonable assumption about a PC's performance based on the size of the system. These days? Throw your assumptions right out the window. Palm sized computing is a thing, and surprisingly enough, you can squeeze a fair bit of performance into a tiny chassis.Wed, 15 Jul 2015 19:29:54 +0000 dealsNeweggNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Nuc"></p><p><strong>Top Deal:</strong></p><p>In the old days of computing, you could have made an reasonable assumption about a PC's performance based on the size of the system. These days? Throw your assumptions right out the window. Palm sized computing is a thing, and surprisingly enough, you can squeeze a fair bit of performance into a tiny chassis. Take for example today's top deal for an <a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-OTHER-N82E16856102097-_-0715&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Intel NUC (NYC5i5RYH) with Core i5-5250U Processor</a> for <strong>$350</strong> with free shipping (n9rmally $360 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKR38</strong>]). Though small in size, this thing rocks dual-core Broadwell part with Intel HD Graphics 6000. It also supports up to 16GB of DDR3L SODIMM memory and has both M.2 and 2.5-inch drive slots.</p><p><strong>Other Deals:</strong></p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-MEMORY-N82E16820231416-_-0715&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory</a> for <strong>$48</strong> with free shipping (normally $53 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKR39</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-CASE-N82E16811147153-_-0715&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Rosewill Challenger ATX Mid Tower Computer Case</a> for <strong>$40</strong> with free shipping (normally $50 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKR44</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-CASE-N82E16811119225-_-0715&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Cooler Master HAF X Full Tower Computer Case with Windowed Side Panel and USB 3.0 Ports</a> for <strong>$168</strong> with free shipping (normally $170 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKR224</strong>]; additional $20 Mail-in rebate)</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-PSU-N82E16817171088-_-0715&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Cooler Master Elite V2 - 550W Long-Lasting Power Supply</a> for <strong>$50</strong> with free shipping (normally $55 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKR227</strong>]; additional $25 Mail-in rebate)</p> MSI Shows Off Black-and-White Z170 Krait Motherboard for Skylake CPUs early look at an upcoming Z170 chipset motherboardWed, 15 Jul 2015 19:17:28 +0000 <h3>Some things are black and white</h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="MSI Krait Z170 Gaming"></p><p>As Intel's Skylake launch looms ever closer, we're seeing more and more Z170 chipset motherboards on the web. Features and performance will ultimatey decide which ones are worth a damn, but as an added bonus, several of the boards we've seen so far definitely bring the bling.</p><p> Just last week,&nbsp;<a href="">Gigabyte teased</a> several motherboards intended for Skylake, some of which looked like Formula F1 race cars. Not be outdone, MSI has posted to social media a picture of its Krait Z170 mobo with the familiar black-and-white treatment.</p><p> MSI didn't spill any specs on its <a href="" target="_blank">Twitter</a> or <a href=";permPage=1" target="_blank">Facebook</a> page, though a glance at the picture reveals four DDR4 memory slots, half a dozen SATA 6Gb/s ports (two for SATA Express), three PCI-Express x16 slots, M.2 slot, and a standard PCI slot.</p><p> The Z170 Krait Gaming also has&nbsp;an 8-phase VRM, Audio Boost 3 chip for onboard audio chores, and Killer E2205 gigabit Ethernet, along with DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort outputs.</p><p>If nothing else, Skylake builds should at least look good. <a href="">Leaked benchmarks</a> suggests that Skylake systems will also perform well, though it's still a bit early to draw any definitive conclusions.</p><p> Intel is expected to launch Skylake-S (desktop version) on August 5.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Rumor: Windows 10 Has Finally Gone RTM're getting close to the Windows 10 launch!Wed, 15 Jul 2015 18:57:19 +0000 10 <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Windows 10 PC"></p><h3>We're closing in on the Windows 10 launch</h3><p>Unnamed “sources” close to the development of Windows 10 <a href="">are reporting</a> that the highly anticipated operating system has gone RTM, and will likely be officially announced by the end of the week. Windows 10 was expected to go RTM last Friday, which still didn’t give OEMs enough time to ship Windows 10 products for the July 29 launch date.</p><p>Currently, the schedule points to August for the first wave of Windows 10 devices, followed by another wave in September. As for devices purchased in the July 29 window, Microsoft will establish small “shops” in the company’s brick-and-mortar stores and at participating retailers to help customers install and set up the new platform.</p><p>According to sources, Microsoft has chosen 10240 as the official RTM build. This build is expected to be distributed to the Windows Insider participants followed by platform updates and extra polish, as seen with the latest handful of builds dished out to Insiders. Essentially, Windows 10 is now feature-locked.</p><p>Just two days ago, <a href="">Microsoft halted</a> the Windows 10 Technical Preview updates. Insider boss Gabe Aul said that the company was moving the Technical Preview over to the production channels, the same channels that will update copies of Windows 10 installed on PCs. Presumably, the next update will be Build 10240.</p><p>Microsoft’s <a href="">Terry Myerson said</a> a couple of weeks ago that once the RTM build is distributed, the company will send out a build of Windows 10 to retailers across the globe so that they can help consumers install Windows 10 on recently purchased Windows 8.1 machines. These devices will have a sticker on the packaging that shows the device is compatible with Windows 10.</p><p>Microsoft is betting big with Windows 10. The platform will bring a number of awesome features you can’t find in Windows 8.1, including the virtual assistant Cortana and Microsoft’s zippy new browser called Edge. The Start Menu is also making its return and will be decked out with Modern UI apps as well as the standard list of installed programs and apps.</p> Reviews Policy we do, how we do itWed, 15 Jul 2015 17:54:38 +0000 <p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Mpc Kickass 2015 V3"></p><p> Maximum PC covers a lot of content on a regular basis. We look at upcoming technology, including software and hardware, and we write feature stories and news posts about all types of content. But when it comes to reviews, we have high standards and we want both the readers as well as the manufacturers to understand what goes into a review. That’s why we’re publishing our reviews policy here for reference.</p><p> We do our best to ensure the accuracy and quality of our reviews, but that sometimes we make mistakes. If we do, we’ll be the first to admit it and issue a correction. We’re also constantly talking about our content and advice and looking for ways to improve. If you have any suggestions, comments and email are encouraged. Just write to <a href=""></a>. In the coming months, you’ll see changes to our site and format, and our reviews policy is at the heart of site and magazine.</p><p> <strong>Our approach</strong></p><p> We take reviews seriously, but we all love technology and we frequently discuss the pros and cons of the devices that we test. And even though the subject matter is sometimes dry, we still try to have some fun with it.</p><p> We assign reviews to experts that know the market and how advances in technology drive new hardware. Our reviewers strive to be authorities on the classes of hardware they review. We won’t assign a Linux article to someone whose only experience comes via Ubuntu, and we won’t ask a desktop enthusiast that hates notebooks to assess the latest laptops.</p><p> Our reviews provide a high-level overview of a product and the market in which it competes. We tell our readers what a product will be like in the real world, analyze the installation and configuration process where applicable, and provide useful performance results and analysis of what those results mean. There are many PC components that are now “fast enough,” but just because a system is fast enough for your grandma doesn’t make it Kick-Ass material. To score well, a product must rise above its peers and offer something more.</p><p> That isn’t to say that we only praise expensive products. We love the newest and fastest technology, but we also love a great bargain. We expect a $500 graphics card to stomp all over a $200 graphics card in gaming prowess, but if that $200 graphics card is the best $200 you can spend on gaming, we’ll let you know. Likewise, if an uber-expensive system runs great but is only marginally faster than other systems that cost half as much, we won’t hesitate to point out the price premium.</p><p> Ultimately, we strive to publish the insightful and precise analysis on PC hardware, give trusted buying advice, and to help our readers understand where the industry is headed and what the best hardware is for the different markets. And hopefully we can keep you entertained along the way.</p><p> <strong>What we review</strong></p><p> <strong>Scored reviews: </strong>We review and assign scored verdicts to hardware that’s available for sale. This may be a new processor from AMD, Intel, or Nvidia; it might be an SSD, motherboard, or some other component or accessory. For graphics cards, we will typically review a “reference” card from AMD or Nvidia at launch, and we may have individual card reviews from their partners. Each product is assessed on its own merits, so in cases where a product differs substantially from the reference design, it may warrant a higher&mdash;or lower&mdash;score.</p><p> We also receive early hardware at times, and if it’s in a state representative of the final product we will score the review. This often occurs with new components like CPUs, GPUs, and SSDs. Early hardware that is not publicly available (e.g., Oculus Rift prior to 2016) may be previewed, but we will wait for the final hardware before officially reviewing the product.</p><p> The PC ecosystem is anything but static, however, and sometimes unpredictable changes can alter our perception of a product. By that token, it’s important to understand that a review is merely a snapshot in time. What was once a questionable product may suddenly become the latest must-have piece of technology, or if a critical flaw is corrected then hardware may become far better than it was at launch. When that happens, we’ll revisit the hardware and explain why things changed and whether this is a new fad or something more meaningful.</p><p> <strong>Scoring system</strong></p><p> Maximum PC uses a 20-point scoring system, expressed as a percentage and in 5-point increments. The following descriptions are meant to clarify what those scores most often mean to us. Scores are a convenient summation of the reviewer's opinion, but it's worth underlining that they're not the review itself.</p><ul> <li><strong>5–35 The computer equivalent of a dirty diaper. No one wants it, and even the proud parents look forward to moving on. Either non-functional, fundamentally flawed, and/or ill-conceived that it's ultimately not worth any time or money.</strong></li> <li><strong>40–45 The product works, mostly, but it has glaringly obvious flaws and there are much better uses of your time and money. We don't&nbsp;recommend anything that can't at least muster a 50 or higher.</strong></li> <li><strong>50–55 Mediocre. The product may have some niche market that would find it useful, but even then it can only be recommended with caveats. It might suffer from bugs or other technical issues.</strong></li> <li><strong>60–65 Average. It might have some interesting features or ideas, but it’s ultimately just one of the crowd. It will do the task it was designed for, but performance won’t blow your socks off.</strong></li> <li><strong>70–75 Good but perhaps late to the party; a recommendation, but not a glowing one. There are no deal breakers, but there are still better alternatives&mdash;or there soon will be. Efficiency, performance, features, or other aspects could be improved.</strong></li> <li><strong>80–90 A great product with good features that accomplishes what it set out to do. Anyone owning this product can feel confident that anything faster/better will generally cost more.</strong></li> <li><strong>95 A product that moves the market forward in meaningful and surprising ways. Not only does it perform its intended purpose, but it has extras that you never knew you wanted until you had them. Ten years from now, you’ll still look back fondly and remember this game changer.</strong></li> <li><strong>100 Humanity should be alarmed, as this product is one more step toward Skynet. It advances the state-of-the-art and upgrades your intelligence in the process. Forget the cost&mdash;you want one, now!</strong></li></ul><p> <strong style="background-color: initial;">The Kick-Ass Award </strong>is Maximum PC’s version of an Editors’ Choice award, and it is automatically given to any product garnering a score of 95 or 100. It represents exceptional quality and/or innovation.</p> Microsoft Boss Satya Nadella Clarifies Stance on Smartphone Strategy will continue to launch Windows Phone handsets, just less frequently than before.Wed, 15 Jul 2015 17:12:55 +0000 nadellasmartphones <h3>Microsoft isn't waving the white flag</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Windows Phone"></p><p> With a paltry 3 percent of the smartphone market, Microsoft might be forgiven if it conceded defeat to Android and iOS. And for a minute, it seemed like it might -- there were rumors that Microsoft would switch up its mobile strategy by abandoning Windows Phone handsets and partnering with Google to get its software and services pre-installed on Android devices. Then when Satya Nadella <a href="">announced 7,800 layoffs</a> -- essentially a dismantling of its Nokia acquisition -- it seemed like the end of the road.</p><p> Instead, it's the beginning of a new one. In an <a href="" target="_blank">interview</a> with <em>ZDNet's</em> Mary Jo Foley, Nadella talked extensively about Microsoft's mobile strategy and smartphone plans. The short of it is, Microsoft will continue to release handsets, but will have fewer models with features the company hopes will lead to more market share.</p><p> "Last week's announcement was not about any change to our vision and strategy, but for sure it was a change to our operating approach. The way we're going to go about it. I'm not going to launch a phone a day. I'm going to focus on a few phones that actually grab share that, in fact, showcase our uniqueness," Nadella said.</p><p> At the same time, it sounds like Nadella hopes that third-party manufacturers will run with the idea. Just as the company's Surface tablets have led to a wealth of two-in-devices, he sees the same happening with Windows Phone devices. And if not?</p><p> "If no OEM stands up to build Windows devices we'll build them," Nadella said. "There will be Lumia devices. So I'm not afraid of saying, okay, it's all about the OEMs, or it's all about the ecosystem. It's about Windows. It is about the overall health of Windows and being grounded in any given day's reality, but having ambition of where the market is going versus being bound by current definitions."</p><p> Therein lies Nadella's main focus -- he wants to get away from thinking about mobile in terms of smartphones only. For Nadella, it's more about the software, which&nbsp;in this case is Windows 10 and the interoperability between different devices in different categories.</p><p> "When you have three percent share of that (phone market), but you also have a billion desktops, you have Xbox, you have innovation in HoloLens; you have Band. It's a graph. It's not any one node. It is the entirety of the device family. And I want to be able to think about our strategy, our innovation, and progress as one," Nadella said.</p><p> Do you think there's any hope for Microsoft in the smartphone market, or is it too much of an uphill battle at this point?</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Google's Planning Free Broadband Internet Service to Low-Income Homes current and future Google Fiber markets will have free Internet service for low-income householdsWed, 15 Jul 2015 16:31:13 +0000 <h3>Broadband for all</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Internet Open"></p><p> We tend to freak out as if the world is ending when our Internet service goes down. However, among homes that bring in less than $30,000 per year, more than a quarter&mdash;26 percent&mdash;don't have Internet access, compared to 3 percent of adults who make over $75,000. Google is looking to close the gap.</p><p> To do that, Google is launching a program that will see all current and future Google Fiber locations offer a no-cost Internet option to residents in select public and affordable housing properties. That means $0 per month and no installation fee.</p><p> Google Fiber is currently available in Kansas City, Kansas; Austin, Texas; and Provo, Utah. Other areas on the roadmap include Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Salt Lake City, Utah; Phoenix, Arizona; Portland, Oregon; San Antonio, Texas; and San Jose, California.</p><p> The initiative to connect low income families to the web for no cost is part of ConnectHome, a program launched by the White House and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to bring Internet connectivity to school-age children and families living in HUD-assisted housing.</p><p> "We realize, though, that providing an Internet connection is just one piece of the puzzle. People can only take advantage of the many benefits of the web when they understand why it matters and know how to use it," Google said. "That’s why we’ll also partner with ConnectHome and local community groups to develop basic computer skills training and create computer labs to host these trainings in each of our Fiber markets."</p><p> For those who don't qualify, Google still offers a $0/month "Basic Internet" tier in its Fiber locations, though there's a $300 construction. It can be paid in one lump sum for $25/month or the first 12 months.</p><p> <em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Fast Forward: The Four Sides of 3D Chips dimensions to evolving (and shrinking) chip technologyWed, 15 Jul 2015 07:00:00 +0000 SSD <h3></h3><h3></h3><p><em>This article was published in the April 2015 issue of </em>Maximum PC<em>. For more trusted reviews and feature stories,<a href=""> subscribe here</a>.</em></p><h3>Adding dimensions to evolving (and shrinking) chip technology</h3><h3></h3><p>Three-dimensional flash memory is the latest chip technology that’s truly revolutionary and Samsung is leading the way with its 3D-NAND flash-memory cells in 500GB SSDs. Multiterabyte SSDs will soon follow. It’s the biggest news in semiconductor tech since 2011.</p><p>That was the year when Intel revolutionized digital logic by mass-producing the first microprocessors with three-dimensional finFET transistors. But it’s also causing confusion. Samsung’s 3D-NAND flash memory is completely different. Different again is a 3D-stacked chip. Heck, some folks are even confusing these innovations with 3D-graphics processors. They’re all different. But they do have one thing in common&mdash;they’re solutions for cramming more transistors into less space.</p><p><img class="" style="display: block; margin: auto;" data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="PCF302.w 850pro"></p><p style="text-align: center;"><em><strong>Samsung’s 850 Pro was the 3D revolution’s trailblazing SSD.</strong></em></p><p>Flash memory urgently needs help because atomic-level physical limitations prevent it from getting much denser, faster, or cheaper. Whereas DRAM and SRAM cells quickly lose all their electrons when powered down, flash cells preserve data by trapping electrons in a “floating gate” (a conductive material) sandwiched between two insulators. Eventually, the trapped electrons escape, but not for years. The retention time depends on several factors, including the number of trapped electrons and whether they’re disturbed by electrical activity.</p><p>But transistors are getting so small that the number of electrons they trap is getting alarmingly low. Ten years ago, a typical NAND-flash bit cell retained about 1,000 electrons per bit. Now it’s about 50. Even worse, some flash memory stores more bits per cell by sensing multiple voltage levels. With a conventional single-level cell (SLC), only one voltage level spells the difference between a one or a zero (one bit). A multilevel cell (MLC) stores two bits by using four voltage levels. A triple-level cell (TLC) stores three bits in eight levels. The more levels, the fewer electrons per level.</p><p>Leaking only a few of those electrons can evaporate your data. Also, repeated read/write operations permanently trap some electrons, which prevents the cell from flipping between one and zero, making it useless. That’s why flash drives use wear leveling to evenly distribute the operations. To overcome these problems, 3D NAND stacks the bit cells vertically. It packs more cells into the same space without necessarily shrinking the transistors and compromising their data retention and endurance. This solution seems obvious, but the manufacturing details are devilish.</p><p>Intel’s finFETs (finned field-effect transistors) solve a different problem. A logic transistor must leak as few electrons as possible through its gate when switched to its “off” binary state. But as transistors keep getting smaller, their gates get shorter, enabling more electrons to escape. By fabricating transistors with a vertical fin rising above the chip’s surface, Intel ups the gate’s effective length without using more horizontal space. These 3D transistors aren’t stacked, as they are in 3D-NAND; they are “3D” in comparison with a conventional planar (flat) transistor.</p><p>Stacked chips are another “3D” variation. They simply pile two or more silicon die on top of each other. Usually these “3D” chips are designed to save board space in small systems like mobile phones. A 3D-graphics processor is yet another breed. It’s simply a microprocessor optimized to run 3D-graphics software. It needn’t use any of the 3D technologies described above.</p><p>Confusion arises, even among gearheads, when we use vague terms like “3D” to describe very different technologies intended to solve very different problems.</p><hr><p><em>Tom Halfhill was formerly a senior editor for </em>Byte <em>magazine and is now an analyst for </em>Microprocessor Report<em>.</em></p> Commodore Comes Back as an Android Smartphone's a Commodore like you've never seen beforeTue, 14 Jul 2015 23:51:51 +0000 <h3>A Commodore for the modern era</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Commodore PET Smartphone"></p><p> As I <a href="">explained before</a>, my roots in computing date back to the Commodore 64, which is generally recognized as the best-selling PC of all time. Like many thirty-somethings and over, I cut my computing teeth on that system and get a sense of nostalgia anytime I see the name Commodore. That's what the makers of the Commodore PET are banking on.</p><p> No, not the original Commodore PET, which predates the Commodore 64. The Commodore PET I'm talking about is an Android handset that a pair of Italian entrepreneurs strategically named after the decades-old system.</p><p> This is an obvious play on the name, as the Commodore of today is the not the Commodore of yesteryear&mdash;the brand went bankrupt long ago, while the company's assets and Commodore trademark has changed hands on more than one occasion. It's even made some comebacks <a href="">as a nettop</a> and <a href="">other forms</a>, though this is the first time I'm aware of that it's been attached to a smartphone.</p><p> The folks at <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Wired</em></a> got in touch with the designers and extracted some info about the device. It will sport an aluminum frame and interchangeable polycarbonate covers, and, of course, the iconic logo will be splashed on the back.</p><p> Other features include a 5.5-inch IPS display with a 1920x1080 resolution, Gorilla Glass 3, 1.7GHz Mediatek 64-bit octa-core processor, ARM Mali T760 GPU, 8-megapixel front camera with an 80-degree wide-angle lens, 13-megapixel rear shooter with a Sony sensor and bright f/2.0 aperture, 3,000mAh battery, and dual SIM 4G connectivity.</p><p> What about storage and RAM? There will be two different models, one with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of built-in storage that will sell for around $300, and another with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage for around $365. Both will also have a microSD card slot.</p><p> On the software side, the Commodore PET will run a custom version of Android 5.0 Lollipop with a pair of pre-installed emulators&mdash;VICE C64 and Uae4All2-SDL Amiga. The designers are also working with software companies to bring back some 1980s games to include with the handset.</p><p> There's no shipping date yet, though you can <a href="" target="_blank">sign up for notifications</a> on the product's website.</p><p> <em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Windows 10 Technical Preview Rollout Halted is halting the Windows 10 Technical Preview rollout for a brief periodTue, 14 Jul 2015 18:48:19 +0000 10 <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Windows 10"></p><p>Microsoft Insider boss <a href="">Gabe Aul stated on Monday</a> that the company will be suspending releases of Windows 10 Technical Preview for a brief period. The company wants to move deployment into the production channels, the same channels that will provide updates to PCs with the retail copy.</p><p>“Starting tomorrow, we will also not be delivering any additional ISOs at this point as we really need Insiders to be using, stressing, and validating our distribution and upgrade processes,” Aul said on Monday. “We’ll make ISOs available again in the future, but for now we ask you to upgrade your current build via Windows Update once the next build is released.”</p><p>That said, for the next 24 hours, Insiders will not be able to update to Build 10162 or Build 10166. If they try to update, they will get a message indicating that their current platform is “up to date.” Microsoft is also pulling ISOs of Build 10162 and suspending the validity of prerelease Windows 10 Technical Preview keys.</p><p>“Once we have a new build available we’ll let you know through here with a blog post, Insider Hub, and on Twitter,” Aul said. Despite what’s going on with Windows Update, Aul insists that Windows Insider participants continue to provide their feedback during the release “blackout.”</p><p>News of the release halt arrives after Microsoft introduced Build 10166 to the “fast” ring last week. This build was the last in a string of updates that were released over a two-week period. For Build 10166, Microsoft is merely smashing pesky bugs and throwing in a bit of polish. </p><p>There was talk last week that Windows 10 RTM would be finalized on July 10, but the “gone gold” release didn’t happen. That means OEMs won’t have the time to install Windows 10 on their devices before the July 29 launch date. Instead, customers will see Windows 10 devices rolled out in two waves: one in August and one in September.</p><p>On July 29, Insider participants will have two choices to make: either stay in the program and continue to provide Microsoft with hands-on feedback, or drop out and get updates with the rest of the world. Either way, Windows 10 updates will be rolled out in “rings”: the fast ring will be for the adventurous and the slow ring will be for those who like their OS cooked “well done.”</p><p>Microsoft is betting heavy on Windows 10. The platform will be a free upgrade for those on Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1. Customers on Windows 8 will need to update to Windows 8.1 before tackling Windows 10. The new OS will be more desktop-friendly than its predecessors and will include a new Start Menu, a built-in virtual assistant, and more.</p> Mozilla Currently Blocking Flash in Firefox suspends Adobe Flash support in FirefoxTue, 14 Jul 2015 18:37:57 +0000 <h3>Mozilla suspends Adobe Flash support in Firefox</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Firefox Logo"></p><p> <a href="">Mozilla announced on Monday</a> that it has blocked all versions of the Adobe Flash plugin in Firefox, even the most recent version of the plugin, Mozilla’s <a href="">Mark Schmidt added via Twitter</a> that the plugin will remain blocked until Adobe releases a version of Flash&nbsp;that’s not “actively exploited by publicly known vulnerabilities.”</p><p> The news arrives after several zero-day vulnerabilities in Flash Player were discovered last week. According to a <a href="">report from FireEye Labs</a>, several hacking groups were found using the first Flash vulnerability, CVE-2015-5119, in a large number of attacks. A second zero-day vulnerability was also discovered, CVE-2015-5122, in leaked data provided by Italian security company The HackingTeam.</p><p> “The vulnerability is triggered by freeing a TextLine object within the valueOf function of a custom class when setting the TextLine’s opaqueBackground,” FireEye said regarding CVE-2015-5122. “Once the TextLine object is freed, a Vector object is allocated in its place. Returning from valueOf will overwrite the length field of Vector object with a value of 106. (Initial length is 98).”</p><p> “Exploitation continues by finding the corrupted Vector object by its length, which will be greater than 100. This enables the object to change an adjacent Vector object’s length to 0x40000000,” the company added.</p><p> Once the exploit achieves this goal, it scans for Kernel32.dll in the machine’s memory to locate the ExportTable and drum up the VirtualProtect address. Once VirtualProtect marks the exploiter’s payload class as READ_WRITE_EXECUTE, the payload can be uploaded to the machine.</p><p> Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief security officer, stated via Twitter on Sunday that it’s time to retire Adobe Flash. “Even if 18 months from now, one set date is the only way to disentangle the dependencies and upgrade the whole ecosystem at once,” <a href="">he said</a>.</p><p> The call to end Flash has been around for years. The late Steve Jobs even <a href="">wrote a long letter in 2010</a> regarding why Apple wouldn't allow Flash on its products.</p><p> “Flash was created during the PC era&mdash;for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs,” Jobs wrote at the time. “But the mobile era is about low-power devices, touch interfaces, and open web standards&mdash;all areas where Flash falls short.”</p><p> Internet giants like Facebook and YouTube are already working to move away from Adobe Flash and support video based on HTML5. <a href="">Stamos pointed out on Twitter</a> that “compatibility with all modern browsers needs work.” Most of the browsers we use now, including Microsoft's new Edge browser for Windows 10, support HTML5 video.</p><p> Hackers seemingly attack Flash vulnerabilities because Adobe’s platform is used on almost every website on the Internet. With HTML5 gaining momentum, Adobe may end up retiring the Flash platform in the near future after all. Is retirement overdue?</p> Newegg Daily Deals: Windows 10 Home 64-bit OEM, Asus GeForce GTX 980, and More! 10 is peeking around the corner and ready to pounce once July 29 rolls around. Of course, if you're running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you can upgrade for free, otherwise you'll need to fork over funds for a license. Even so, that doesn't mean you have to pay full price.Tue, 14 Jul 2015 18:33:18 +0000 dealsNeweggNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Windows 10"></p><p><strong>Top Deal:</strong></p><p>Windows 10 is peeking around the corner and ready to pounce once July 29 rolls around. Of course, if you're running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you can upgrade for free, otherwise you'll need to fork over funds for a license. Even so, that doesn't mean you have to pay full price. Instead, check out today's top deal for <a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-OTHER-N82E16832416892-_-0714&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit OEM</a> for <strong>$90 </strong>with free shipping (normally $100 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKR222</strong>]). This is a pre-order sale, and take note that Newegg lists the release date as 7/31, not 7/29.</p><p><strong>Other Deals:</strong></p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-OTHER-N82E16832588491-_-0714&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Microsoft Windows 10 Pro - 64-bit - OEM</a> for <strong>$120</strong> with free shipping (normally $140 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKR223</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-INT-HDD-N82E16822148844-_-0714&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Seagate Barracuda 3TB 7200 RPM 3.5-inch Internal Hard Drive</a> for <strong>$85</strong> with free shipping (normally $90 - use coupon code: [<strong>ESCAVKR29</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-GPU-N82E16814121905-_-0714&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Asus GeForce GTX 980 4GB Video Card</a> for <strong>$489</strong> with free shipping (normally $509 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKR33</strong>]; NVIDIA GIFT Batman: Arkham Knight)</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-PSU-N82E16817139042-_-0714&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Corsair 760W AX760 Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply</a> for <strong>$130</strong> with free shipping (normally $140 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKR45</strong>]; additional $30 Mail-in rebate)</p> Wi-Fi Aware Will Connect Your Devices without a Wireless Connection alliance is making proximity based networking a true reality.Tue, 14 Jul 2015 18:19:04 +0000 <h3>Paving the way for context-aware services</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Wi-Fi Aware"></p><p> The past few years have seen several advances in wireless technology with things like beamforming, faster 802.11ac routers, and the such. Not resting on its laurels, the Wi-Fi Alliance is keeping the good times rolling by announcing a new certification program for a technology called Wi-Fi Aware.</p><p> What is Wi-Fi Aware?</p><p> "Wi-Fi Aware makes contextual awareness more immediate and useful, enabling personalized applications that continuously scan surroundings, anticipate actions, and notify of services and selected preferences," the Wi-Fi Alliance <a href="" target="_blank">explains</a>. "Wi-Fi’s widespread implementation in mobile devices offers potential for vendors, operating system (OS) developers, and application makers to create innovative services based on proximity."</p><p> Put in more simple terms, Wi-Fi Aware is a contextual awareness technology that allows for compatible Wi-Fi devices to detect and communicate with other devices and apps, even without a cellular, Wi-Fi, or GPS connection.</p><p> There are several nifty scenarios where this could come into play. One such example is if you're riding a train or bus and playing a mobile game. Using Wi-Fi Aware technology, the game could look for other users who are nearby for multiplayer action.</p><iframe src="" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" width="620"> </iframe><p> Wi-Fi Aware continually looks for nearby devices and apps before making a connection. It even works in crowded environments -- maybe you're attending a concert and would like to share photos with others in attendance. Or you could be in an art museum and have exhibits beam information to your mobile device.</p><p> It sounds like a power drain, though the Wi-Fi Alliance insists that Wi-Fi Aware is an energy-efficient technology. Hopefully we'll find out soon, as vendors have already begun to certify Wi-Fi Aware technology for next-generation mobile devices.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> SanDisk Connect Wireless Sticks Puts the Cloud in Your Pocket transfer files back and forth between mobile devices and your PC.Tue, 14 Jul 2015 16:39:08 +0000 <h3>Mobile storage sharing made easy</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick"></p><p> SanDisk today announced its new generation <a href="" target="_blank">Connect Wireless Stick</a>. About the size of a USB flash drive, the drive enables easy sharing and transferring of photos, videos, and other data between mobile devices and your PC.</p><p> The primary selling point is wireless connectivity. We're all used to plugging USB flash drives into our PCs to move files about, but when it comes to a growing reliance on mobile devices, not all gadgets have full-size USB ports. This is where SanDisk's stick comes into play.</p><p> Armed with its own wireless network, any Wi-Fi enabled device can tap into the Connect Wireless Stick, which you can store in your pocket, briefcase, or wherever is most convenient.</p><p> The Connect Wireless Stick supports up to five simultaneous connections, and three can stream at a time. It also has a built-in battery that can support a single stream for up to 4.5 hours on a single charge. Should it run out of juice, you can plug the stick into a USB port and transfer files just like a USB thumb drive.</p><p> SanDisk has a free Connect app that facilitates media playback and other functions. It's available for Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire devices.</p><p> The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick is available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacity options. Prices range from $30 to $100 MSRP.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Windows 10 May Not Be Pre-Installed On Devices Arriving July 29 RTM build of Windows 10 isn't ready.Tue, 14 Jul 2015 16:37:49 +0000 10 <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Windows 10 Teaser"></p><p><a href="">Bloomberg reports</a> that devices likely won’t have Windows 10 pre-installed on the platform’s launch day, July 29. Why? Because there just isn’t enough time to get the OS&nbsp;installed. Instead, consumers will likely see Windows 10 on a number of devices making their debut in August and&nbsp;September.</p><p>Previously Microsoft was supposedly stamping the RTM seal on Windows 10 this past Friday, but Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of Windows and device marketing, told Bloomberg that the RTM build has not been released to device manufacturers. He didn’t provide an exact date of when the company expects the RTM to go live.</p><p>“You will see computers running with Windows 10 installed very soon after the 29th and then in the fall a whole new class of machines for the holidays,” he told Bloomberg.</p><p>In a separate report, <a href="">IFA announced</a> that Nick Parker, corporate vice president, OEM Division, Microsoft, will present a keynote during IFA 2015 on September 4. According to the organization, he will present new Windows 10-based “tablets, 2-in-1s, premium notebooks, gaming devices and all-in-ones.” </p><p>That said, customers looking to purchase a device with Windows 10 out-of-the-box should wait until August or September. However, customers wanting to purchase a new device on July 29 will receive help in upgrading to the new platform at special stations in Microsoft’s stores and additional retailers.</p><p>On July 29, the 5 million Windows Insiders participants will receive the “retail” build of Windows 10 first, followed by the consumers who signed up to reserve a spot in the Windows 10 rollout through the “Get Windows 10” campaign. These reservations will be fulfilled in waves.</p><p>Mehdi told Bloomberg that customers who choose not to update their new device in participating stores will instead be pushed up the Windows 10 rollout ladder so that they can get the platform “when they wish.”</p><p>July 29 is an important day for Microsoft, as the company can finally move away from the mess that is Windows 8. Of course, the company cleaned up the platform a bit with Windows 8.1, but customers installing Windows 10 later this month should feel more at home on their desktop or laptop. </p><p>Microsoft did the right thing by opening up Windows 10 to customers willing to undergo the development process. Thanks to these individuals, Windows 10 is partially&nbsp;shaped by the consumer. There are no surprises with Windows 10, as the press, the Insiders and Microsoft itself have been completely transparent. </p><p>Some of the features Windows 10 customers can look forward to include the built-in Cortana virtual assistant, a new Start Menu, better settings management, better security, and for gamers, DirectX 12. Microsoft seems highly enthusiastic&nbsp;about the launch of Windows 10 and consumers will see why on July 29.</p> QNAP TVS-871 NAS Review Maximum PC's Dream Machine were a NAS, this would be it.Tue, 14 Jul 2015 08:35:11 +0000 TVS-871 NASReviews <h3>The NAS that does it all</h3><p>If you're serious about storage, you're probably going to consider some type of NAS (network attached storage) system for your home. And if you're serious about a NAS, there are few companies you should consider. And of the ones you should consider, there are fewer still that&nbsp;have the right chemistry of performance and features rolled into one unit.&nbsp;</p><p>Take a&nbsp;quick look through QNAP's website and you'll find a host of NAS options with very compelling features, that are fit for home use. Sure, QNAP makes products for large-scale enterprises and for people who are bent on using a server rack in their home closet, but its consumer line of NASes borrows some of the best features from the company's&nbsp;more serious offerings. Today, we'll look at one of QNAP's enthusiast-grade options, one that should satisfy even the majority of blood-thirsty storageivors.</p><h5>The&nbsp;QNAP TVS-871</h5><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Qnap Tvs 871 Main"></p><p>Enter the TVS-871, a beast of a NAS.&nbsp;<a href="">The TVS-871 is a NAS that has everything except the kitchen sink</a> thrown into it. Coming in several flavors, the TVS-871 can be configured with drool-worthy features such as 10Gb Ethernet, and up to an Intel Core i7-4790S processor. Our unit came preconfigured with the following make-a-standard-PC-jealous specs:</p><table><thead><tr><td></td><td>QNAP TVS-871 Specifications</td></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td>Storage Management</td><td>Single disk, JBOD, RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 5 + hot spare<br>Online volume expansion<br>Online RAID capacity expansion<br>Online RAID level migration<br>Global hot spare<br>Storage expansion via QNAP UX-500P / UX-800P<br>Bad block scan and hard drive S.M.A.R.T.<br>Bad block recovery<br>RAID recovery<br>Bitmap support<br></td></tr><tr><td>CPU</td><td><a href=";cm_re=intel_core_i7_4790s-_-19-116-988-_-Product">Intel "Haswell"&nbsp;Core i7-4790S @ 3.2GHz (Turbo 4.0GHz)</a></td></tr><tr><td>Memory</td><td>16GB DDR4 (expandable, 2x&nbsp;SO-DIMM slots)</td></tr><tr><td>SSD Cache</td><td>None configured</td></tr><tr><td>HDD</td><td>8 bays (8TB drive support)</td></tr><tr><td>Video</td><td>4K 60Hz&nbsp;HDMI (Intel HD Graphics 4600)<br>Hardware transcoding 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p</td></tr><tr><td>Network</td><td>4x 1Gb Ethernet</td></tr><tr><td>USB</td><td>3x USB 3.0 (one front), 2x USB 2.0<br>Supports USB printer, drive, USB hub, UPS, Wi-Fi dongle</td></tr><tr><td>Cooling</td><td>2x 120mm rear exhaust</td></tr><tr><td>Power</td><td>350W</td></tr><tr><td>Expansion</td><td>2x 10Gb Ethernet slots</td></tr><tr><td>Dimensions</td><td>185.2 (H) x 298.2 (W) x 235.4 (D) mm<br>7.29 (H) x 11.74 (W) x 9.27 (D) inches</td></tr><tr><td>Weight</td><td>7.83 kg / 17.26 lbs (without drives)</td></tr><tr><td>OS</td><td>QTS 4.1.4 embedded Linux</td></tr><tr><td>Extras</td><td>4x CAT5e Ethernet cables</td></tr></tbody></table><p>The list above covers just a very small portion of what the TVS-871 is capable of. For the full list,&nbsp;<a href=";event=3">check out the TVS-871's specifications page</a>.</p><p>We configured our&nbsp;<a href=";refRID=1M1G8PPZ4FYX1YB4WSKB">NAS with eight Red NAS 4TB drives (WD40EFRX)&nbsp;from Western Digital</a>, but you can configure the TVS-871 with whatever you wish. The TVS-871 supports SSD caching for increased outbound/read performance by installing an SSD in one of the bays, but we opted to fill all 8 bays with HDDs. Thinking back, it's a shame we didn't go with Western Digital's 6TB drives for more storage ridiculousness.</p><p>Western Digital's Red series are positioned as NAS drives specifically. These drives are tuned to operate around the clock and the 4TB version can be had for roughly $150. If you're looking for higher levels of reliability, you may want to&nbsp;<a href="">consider the company's Re-series</a>, which cost more but are designed for high&nbsp;availability deployments and carry a longer 5-year warranty.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Qnap Tvs 871 Rear"><br><em>Quad 1Gb Ethernet with support for quad 10Gb Ethernet expansion</em></p><p>Officially, the TVS-871 currently supports up to 8TB hard drives for an insane total 64TB of storage (in RAID 0 or JBOD modes), but HGST recently announced the availability of its&nbsp;<a href="">Ha10 Active Archive 10TB monster</a>, which would have been extra sweet. If QNAP updates the firmware on the TVS-871, you could conceivably have yourself a whopping 80TB NAS at home. Now, why would you need such TB-awesomeness? We all know.</p><p>For those who are in the market for a backup solution, getting a NAS would serve this purpose well. However, if you intend to use a NAS as a&nbsp;primary haven&nbsp;for your content such as videos, images, and personal files, keep in mind that RAID is not a "backup" solution. Thankfully, the TVS-871 supports backing up itself in numerous ways, including to another NAS, or popular cloud storage solutions such as Dropbox, Microsoft Azure, and even Amazon S3.</p><h5>Getting things up and running</h5><p>Setting up the TVS-871 was a breeze: we simply installed the hard&nbsp;drives into their cages, and plugged them in. You're able to configure the storage array via the TVS-871's built-in screen or by logging into its web interface. We opted for setup using the web interface, since there's only so much you can do with the two-line&nbsp;built-in display.</p><p>Upon login and the obligatory administration setup, we immediately configured the TVS-871 to RAID 6. The system recommended RAID 6 by default, but you're able to choose whatever RAID level you desire. On a NAS like this, there's really no point in using RAID 0, since performance won't be realized over 1Gb Ethernet, and you'll want some sort of redundancy. At our 32TB of total system capacity, RAID 1 would get you 16TB and allow up to four drive failures before complete catastrophe, but halving our total capacity seemed wasteful.&nbsp;</p><p>We went with RAID 6 because you get the best combination of performance, redundancy, and&nbsp;capacity. RAID 6 is essentially like RAID 5, but with support for double drive failures. With RAID 6 configured, we were left with&nbsp;a total usable capacity of 24TB.</p><p>Because we filled up all the drive bays in the TVS-871 for the array, no drives were left to act as a hot-spare, so we kept another Western Digital Red NAS drive on hand as a cold spare.</p><h5>Virtualization on a NAS</h5><p>The TVS-871 isn't your average storage-only NAS, though. QNAP has integrated a wealth of kick-ass features, including: virtualization, Plex media server, web server, VPN server, MySQL server, TFTP server, and much more. You're able to download apps from the&nbsp;QNAP app center, and run CMS, gallery, and forum back-ends. Essentially, the TVS-871 is a complete standalone server on its own, with a focus on NAS storage.</p><p>As a matter of fact, you're also able to use the TVS-871 as a full desktop PC running QTS Linux. The built-in HDMI output supports 4K output at 60Hz. Windows OS is not supported. However, since the TVS-871 can run virtual machines, you can install Windows and other OSes through the VM. We tested this feature using Lubuntu 15.04 and the TVS-871 handled it without a hitch.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Qnap Tvs 871 Ui 25"><br><em>Lubuntu 15.04 running on as a VM with HTML5 remote control (VNC, too!)</em></p><p>Windows 8.1 also installed as expected. Compared to more advanced VM solutions such as VMWare, you won't get advanced features though, such as Direct3D 9+ support, so running games is out of the question. Thankfully, no one is going to buy a TVS-871 to play games, so we don't see a problem.</p><p>The TVS-871 allows you to control your VMs through an HTML5-based browser interface, or you can enable VNC remote in the configuration. The VNC feature on the NAS allows boot-time control of your VMs, so you're able to do normal OS installs without ever requiring an attached monitor.</p><h5>Media streaming and downloading</h5><p>QNAP pitches the TVS-871 as a very capable media-delivery box. The unit comes equipped to serve out your movies utilizing KODI (a.k.a. XBMC), but you're more than welcome to go with Plex. We downloaded the Plex server client through QNAP's app repository and upgraded it to the latest version. Plex is more flexible about serving and transcoding your video files to a multitude of devices, and also allows you to serve your content over the public Internet, if you choose, with little fuss.</p><p>We set Plex's transcoder to "make my CPU hurt" for maximum quality. With the Core i7-4970S's QuickSync hardware transcoding, streaming media to our tablets and phones was a breeze, taking up just a hair of the TVS-871's ample processing power. Playing through a Plex client on another PC, there wasn't any transcoding at all, as you're able to set the client to play the original file.&nbsp;</p><p>One interesting feature that heavy downloaders will appreciate is the TVS-871's ability to act as a torrent client. Utilizing QNAP's Download Station, which is essentially an app built for the TVS-871, you're able to queue up a bunch of torrents on the NAS directly, without running anything on your PC. The TVS-871 will download and save directly to your volume. Download Station can be managed via your browser, and you're able to see the usual data you would see on a desktop torrent client.</p><h3>Tests</h3><p>We tested several features of the TVS-871, including RAID fail, rebuild, and throughput. Unfortunately, the unit we have did not have its 10&nbsp;GigE card installed, so we weren't able to test the full throughput potential of the TVS-871, but it lets you see performance on typical gigabit networks.</p><p>Tests were done with the following hardware:</p><table><thead><tr><td></td><td>Test bed</td></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td>Motherboard</td><td><a href=";cm_re=asus_rampage_black_edition-_-13-132-053-_-Product">ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition</a><br></td></tr><tr><td>CPU</td><td><a href=";cm_re=3970x-_-19-116-877-_-Product">Intel Core i7 3970X</a><br></td></tr><tr><td>RAM</td><td>Samsung "Green" DDR3 32GB</td></tr><tr><td>SSD</td><td><a href=";cm_re=samsung_850_pro_1tb-_-20-147-362-_-Product">Samsung 850 Pro 1TB</a> x 2 (RAID 0)</td></tr><tr><td>OS</td><td>Windows 8.1</td></tr><tr><td>Router</td><td><a href=";cm_re=ASUS_RT-AC87U-_-33-320-208-_-Product">ASUS RT-AC87U AC2400</a></td></tr><tr><td>Cable</td><td>CAT6 10 ft</td></tr></tbody></table><p>Note:&nbsp;<a href="">Thanks to CyberPower PC</a> for supplying the Samsung 850 Pro 1TB SSDs!</p><h5>The benchmarks:</h5><table><thead><tr><td>Test</td><td>Score</td></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td>File Copy Write</td><td>117.6 MB/sec</td></tr><tr><td>File Copy Read</td><td>117.2 MB/sec</td></tr><tr><td>File Copy Write&nbsp;RAID 5</td><td>117.8 MB/sec</td></tr><tr><td>File Copy Read RAID 5</td><td>116.6 MB/sec</td></tr><tr><td>File Copy Write RAID 6</td><td>115.1 MB/sec</td></tr><tr><td>File Copy Read RAID 6</td><td>116.4 MB/sec</td></tr><tr><td>File Copy Write&nbsp;RAID 10</td><td>117.0 MB/sec</td></tr><tr><td>File Copy Read RAID 10</td><td>115.0 MB/sec</td></tr><tr><td>Single Drive 1TB Active&nbsp;Rebuild (hh:mm:ss)</td><td>01:24:38</td></tr><tr><td>Single Drive 1TB Non-Active Rebuild (hh:mm:ss)&nbsp;</td><td>01:07:03</td></tr></tbody></table><p>As shown in the above throughput tests, the limiting factor is our gigabit network. QNAP estimates that with a 10&nbsp;GigE network and an array of SSDs, the TVS-871 would be able to hit 1,168&nbsp;MB/sec writes and 1,178&nbsp;MB/sec reads. Double that for a dual&nbsp;10&nbsp;GigE setup. Here are benchmarks for 10&nbsp;GigE and dual 10&nbsp;GigE&nbsp;performance from QNAP:</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Qnap Tvs 871 Benches"></p><p>It's worth noting that QNAP utilized a RAID 5 array in its benchmarks, which is less taxing than running a RAID 6 array due to the NAS having to compute half the parity. However, RAID 6 can withstand two drive failures while RAID 5 can only take one.</p><p>One thing we wish the TVS-871 had, although it's&nbsp;unlikely that any home user would utilize it, would be support for RAID 60, which is RAID 6 with striping. The TVS-871 has eight drive bays, and RAID 60 requires at least eight drives to operate. We can only conclude that running RAID 60 would be too detrimental to performance, and so was left out.</p><p>QNAP uses SSDs installed in the TVS-871 in its test to demonstrate maximum sustained throughput, which by all accounts is impressive, as one might expect. If you have such a network available to you, throughput will vary based on RAID type, the type and&nbsp;number of drives you have installed, cable, and client configuration.</p><h3>The QNAP all-in-wonder</h3><p>The TVS-871 has something for everyone, and in excess. Some people prefer having everything stored on multiple drives, installed directly inside their PCs for the absolute fastest access. But there's something to be said about a NAS that can handle multiple duties, freeing up precious CPU cycles for more immediate tasks, such as playing a game. The enormously capable TVS-871 will serve multiple PCs and devices simultaneously, handle a myriad of tasks, and not even even break a sweat.&nbsp;</p><p>There is a drawback to all of this though: The TVS-871 performs at its peak when you're on a 10 GigE network. If we're talking about a desktop PC at home utilizing onboard gigabit Ethernet and a consumer-grade router, forget it. To maximize performance, you'll need to overhaul your entire network. This means getting an expensive network switch, as well as popping in a 10 GigE copper-based network card. Oh, and CAT5 cabling won't do either. Be prepared, as the costs can add up pretty quickly. But if you're well-heeled enough to get a TVS-871 for your home, perhaps cost isn't an issue to begin with.</p><p>There's a lot to be said about the QNAP TVS-871, far more than can be written in this review alone. Depending on your needs, the TVS-871 can be a straight-up storage unit, or it can be much more. Those who are into some serious home-theater setups will appreciate what QNAP has done.&nbsp;All the fancy features aside though, having an obscene amount of terabytes at your disposal is drool-worthy by itself anytime&mdash;just make sure you have the cash for it.</p> Nintendo's Satoru Iwata Dead At Age 55 President and CEO has passed away.Tue, 14 Jul 2015 00:07:00 +0000 <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="800px-Satoru Iwata - Game Developers Conference 2011 - Day 2 (1)"></p><p>Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata died of cancer on Saturday. The company provided a specific reason on Monday (<a href="">pdf</a>), saying that his passing was the result of a bile duct growth. Satoru Iwata was 55 years old.</p><p>Nintendo’s announcement did not provide any clues as to who will replace Iwata. However, <a href="">Reuters reports</a> that Genyo Takeda will lead the committee that will handle Iwata’s funeral, which, according to the report, indicates that Takeda will take a “leadership role” in the company.</p><p>“I am surprised at this sudden news and overcome with sadness," <a href="">said Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto</a>. "The entire development team at Nintendo will remain committed to our development policy which Mr. Iwata and we have been constructing together and to yield the development results which Mr. Iwata would appreciate."</p><p>The death of Iwata arrives as the company enters new territory: mobile. Iwata fought long and hard against the move despite what the investors wanted until just recently. The company made a deal with mobile developer DeNA to create mobile apps for iOS and Android based on popular Nintendo properties.</p><p>That said, Nintendo will need to choose a CEO and President that will carry out the company’s mobile endeavors. Nintendo believes this deal with DeNA will double its annual operating profit in the year ending March 2016. </p><p><a href="">Iwata joined Nintendo</a> back in 2000. At the age of 42, he became president of the company in 2002, succeeding Hirosha Yamauchi and becoming the first president that wasn’t related to the Yamauchi family. He also served as Nintendo of America’s CEO starting in 2013.</p><p>Iwata was a hands-on executive, speaking directly to the company’s customers. That included the Nintendo Direct series, which launched in 2011, and his “Iwata Asks” section on Nintendo’s Wii website. He was essentially the voice of Nintendo for many, many gamers throughout the years.</p><p>To honor Iwata, Nintendo of America is <a href="">taking a day of silence</a> across all social media outlets. At Nintendo’s headquarters, the flags have been lowered at half-mast. Even <a href="">the PlayStation Twitter account</a> thanks Iwata for everything he has done.</p><p>“There are CEOs who make a difference to the lives of the people - Satoru Iwata was one of the few who did,” <a href="">tweeted Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan</a>.</p><p>Thank you for everything, Mr. Iwata. You will be missed.</p><p>Image credit:&nbsp;<a href="">"Satoru Iwata - Game Developers Conference 2011 - Day 2 (1)" by Official GDC - Flickr: GDC 2011 3/2 (day 2). Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia.</a></p> This Is Windows 10's Edge Browser take a close look at Microsoft's new browser for Windows 10.Mon, 13 Jul 2015 22:37:13 +0000 10 <h3>Can it take on Chrome?</h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Ms Edge Logo"></p><p>Microsoft’s Internet Explorer hit the Internet browser scene back in August 1995 as part of the Windows 95 “Plus” pack. The browser mainly competed with Netscape and took the top spot in the browser wars thanks to Microsoft making Internet Explorer a native, pre-installed program. Now the browser is in its 11th version and is being pushed aside by a leaner, faster browser developed not by Microsoft’s rivals, but Microsoft itself. This new kid in town is called Microsoft Edge.</p><p>So why call Microsoft’s new browser <em>Edge</em>? "[The name means] the edge of consuming and creating, being closer to the modern capabilities of the Web,” said VP of Operating Systems Group Joe Belfiore <a href="">during BUILD 2015</a>. “This is for note-taking, reading, and consuming content. Developers will care about the blazing fast speed and that it is a universal app."</p><p>The Edge browser is minimal in appearance, providing the navigation buttons on the left of the address bar and the settings, sharing, and other tools located on the right&hellip; just like Internet Explorer 11. However, the icons are larger than what’s provided in the older browser, and unlike Internet Explorer 11, there are no toolbars of any sort by default. Thus the user can focus on the contents in the window and not the icons lining the top half of the browser.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Edge1"></p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>Edge's Reading View</em></p><p>One of the coolest features in Microsoft Edge is the Reading View. It’s depicted as an open book at the top of the browser, and when tapped, will get rid of everything on the page save for the image header and the text body. As an example, Maximum PC pages include the site’s toolbar, advertisement, and images linking to other articles on the site. All of this is gone in Reading View, leaving what could be mistaken as a clean PDF. Click the open book icon again and the ads and toolbars return.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Edge2"></p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>Make a Web Note</em></p><p>Another cool feature is Make a Web Note, shown above. The icon appears as a pen on paper, which, when clicked, displays a purple toolbar for making edits directly in the Edge window. There are five editing capabilities offered on the left side: Pen, Highlighter, Eraser, Add as Typed Note, and Clip. On the far right are links to save the edits, to share, and to exit editing mode. Additionally, the Pen aspect allows the user to choose between twelve different colors and three pen sizes. </p><p>So, why do we need an editing tool in a browser? The Web Note feature seems ideal for website administrators to point out mistakes or to illustrate potential design changes. Perhaps a few friends are making plans to travel and want to write about possible destinations. Maybe a teacher could highlight important notes for students. Whatever the case, these changes can be saved to the hard drive and shared to OneNote.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Edge3"></p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>The Hub</em></p><p>In addition to the Make a Web Note feature, Microsoft Edge provides a Hub that can be accessed by clicking on the three-lined icon between Favorites and Make a Web Note. This area is broken down into four parts: the user’s Favorites, the Reading List, the browser’s History, and the Download link. Here the company seems to want to change the way people use bookmarks. </p><p>For instance, suppose you’re visiting Maximum PC and want to save a specific article to read later. This is done by clicking on the Favorites’ “star” icon and choosing the Reading List icon in the pop-up window. This page then ends up on the Reading List inside the Hub. Just want to add the site as a favorite? Click on the star icon, choose the name, the save location, and then access it on the Favorites panel inside the Hub.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Edge4"></p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>Reading List </em></p><p>So, what’s the difference? Good question. Maybe the user doesn’t want to make a specific website a “favorite” but wants to read one of its articles later. Visually, their presentation within the Hub is a little different: the link in the Favorites panel is smaller than the one shown on the reading list. What’s disappointing is that neither option seems to have the capability to be shared with social networks and friends, but only to OneNote.</p><p>Finally, we have the “More actions” panel that can be opened by clicking on the three-dot icon. Here Microsoft Edge users can open a new window, open a new InPrivate window, zoom in or out, find a specific word on the current page, print, pin to Start, open the page with Internet Explorer 11, and send feedback. This is also where the users will find the Settings menu.</p><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Edge5"></p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>Settings</em></p><p>Under the Settings menu, users can choose a theme for Edge: either Light or Dark, at the time of this posting. Users can also turn on the Favorites bar (it’s off by default), open the browser with a specific page, and open a new tab with either the user’s top sites, top sites with suggested content, or a blank page. There are also options to clear the browsing data, change the Reading view style, and the Reading view font style. At the bottom is a link to the Advanced Options and the browser’s current version number.</p><p>Microsoft Edge users jumping into the Advanced Options will find a number of switches that can be toggled on and off. These include showing the Home button, blocking pop-ups, using Adobe Flash Player, and allowing caret browsing. “Caret browsing lets you select text using the keyboard,” the browser states. “F7 turns on caret browsing for the current tab.”</p><p>In the Privacy and services section, users can opt to save passwords, save form entries, send Do Not Track requests, turn on Cortana’s assistance within the browser, and choose what search engine will be used in the address bar (naturally, Bing is the default search engine). There are also options to not block cookies, to allow sites to leave protective media licenses on the device, to use page prediction, and malware protection.</p><p>Microsoft Edge is connected to Windows 10’s virtual assistant, Cortana. You can highlight a link or word, right-click, and then choose Ask Cortana. For instance, suppose you’re ready for a vacation and a web page contains the word "Disney." Instead of hitting the address bar to load up the official site, Cortana will bring up links like Disney’s official webpage, the Disney Store, Disney’s Cruise Line website, and more in a panel attached to the right of the browser window.</p><p>In addition to Cortana integration, Microsoft Edge users can load up Internet Explorer 11 when needed. The older browser lurks behind the Windows 10 scene and waits for the user to come across a web page that needs Internet Explorer 11’s touch. Microsoft says it’s great for enterprise web apps.</p><p>“Large organizations are likely to have a broad portfolio of web-based apps, and Internet Explorer 11 offers the security, performance, backward compatibility, and modern standards support that complex web app portfolios need,” <a href=";MSPPError=-2147217396">Microsoft states</a>. “This is why we will continue to make it easy for enterprise customers to make Internet Explorer 11 their default browser through Group Policy.”</p><p>Microsoft has stated in the past that Edge is built from the ground up for the modern Internet, meaning it has a whole different rendering engine and is more secure. The company says that Edge was developed to “defend users from increasingly sophisticated and prevalent attacks.” The company talks about <a href="">the browser’s security aspect here</a>, which includes web security threats, defending against malicious web sites and downloads, and more.</p><p>As of this article, which was written on Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 10159, Internet Explorer 11 is not listed as an installed app, making Microsoft Edge the main focus for browsing the Internet. The only way to access Internet Explorer 11, it seems, is through Microsoft Edge or asking Cortana to load it up. </p><p>All in all, Microsoft Edge is a great browser. Since it seems to be an exclusive feature in Windows 10, how Mozilla and Google plan to compete with Microsoft on the new operating system should prove to be quite interesting. The browser wars will definitely begin to heat up on July 29.</p> Newegg Daily Deals: OCZ Trion 100 960GB SSD, BenQ 27-Inch Monitor, and More! fancy rhetoric is needed here, just an awesome deal on a lot of fast storage. Straight to the point, if you've been looking for a high performance solid state drive with lots of capacity and a relatively friendly price tag, then check out today's top deal for an OCZ Trion 100 Series 960GB SSD.Mon, 13 Jul 2015 19:06:14 +0000 dealsNeweggNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="OCZ Trion 100"></p><p><strong>Top Deal:</strong></p><p>No fancy rhetoric is needed here, just an awesome deal on a lot of fast storage. Straight to the point, if you've been looking for a high performance solid state drive with lots of capacity and a relatively friendly price tag, then check out today's top deal for an <a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-SSD-N82E16820228137-_-0713&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">OCZ Trion 100 Series 960GB SSD</a> for <strong>$300</strong> with free shipping (normally $360). That works out to just over 31 cents per gigabyte. As we <a href="" target="_blank">pointed out before</a>, the 960GB model in the Trion 100 series is the best performing of the bunch with sequential read and writes of up to 500MB/s and 530MB/s, respectively, along with random 4K read performance of 90,000 IOPS and random 4K write performance of 64,000 IOPS.</p><p><strong>Other Deals:</strong></p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-DISPLAY-N82E16824014378-_-0713&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">BenQ GL2760H Black 27-inch 2ms LCD Monitor</a> for <strong>$175</strong> with free shipping (normally $190 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKP22</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-SSD-N82E16820721107-_-0713&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 2.5-inch 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive</a> for <strong>$50</strong> with free shipping (normally $57)</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-DISPLAY-N82E16824025007-_-0713&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">LG 31MU97-B Black 31-inch 5ms WQHD 4K IPS LCD Monitor w/ Built-in Speaker</a> for <strong>$950</strong> with free shipping (normally $1200 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKP25</strong>])</p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-PSU-N82E16817207034-_-0713&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">XFX TS 650W 80 Plus Gold Certified Active PFC Power Supply</a> for <strong>$50</strong> with free shipping (normally $80 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKP26</strong>]; additional $25 Mail-in rebate)</p> Comcast Reveals Pricing for Wallet Busting 2Gbps Internet Service yourself -- 2Gbps service from Comcast costs $300 per month plus a $1,000 setup fee.Mon, 13 Jul 2015 18:53:33 +0000 <h3>Swallow your coffee before reading further</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Comcast 2Gbps"></p><p> Comcast has gone and doubled the speed of Google Fiber and AT&amp;T GigaPower, both of which top out at 1Gbps. However, hopping on Comcast's 2Gbps connection comes at a hefty cost -- try <a href="" target="_blank">$299.95 per month</a>, though that's only the beginning.</p><p> You're also on the hook for a $500 installation fee, plus another $500 to activate the multi-gig service. Tack on to that "equipment, taxes and fees, and other applicable charges" and you're looking at more than $1,300 just to get started.</p><p> Once you've swallowed that pill, consider that a minimum two-year service agreement is required, and yes, early termination fees apply. How much? Comcast doesn't say, though if going by the company's 505Mbps service, expect it to exceed $1,000.</p><p> While looking over the fine print, be sure to take note of the part that says "actual speeds vary and are not guaranteed," another otherwise standard piece of fine print that makes rolling the dice on such a pricey proposition an even bigger gamble.</p><p> If you agree to all that AND live in an area where Comcast's Gigabit Pro is available, get comfy because installation "may require 6 to 8 weeks or more to complete," the company says.</p><p> On the plus side, this is a symmetrical service, meaning up to 2Gbps uploads and downloads, and <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>DSL Reports</em></a>, Comcast plans to offer a $159 per month early promotional rate for users who ink a two-year commitment.</p><p> By comparison, Google Fiber pricing for 1Gbps service runs $70 per month for straight up Internet access. There's a $300 construction fee, though it's waived if you commit to a year of service. Alternately, there's a $130/month tier that includes 1Gbps Internet and TV service with over 150 channels, also with the option of waiving the $300 construction fee.</p><p> Comcast is currently offering its Gigabit Pro service in select parts of Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, and California.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Rockstar is Investigating Reports of PC Performance Issues in GTA V PC gamers are reporting severe framerate drops in GTA V after applying the latest patch.Mon, 13 Jul 2015 18:24:21 +0000 Theft Auto Vgta vNewsrockstar games <h3>Patch related woes</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Gtav"></p><p> It's been a tough stretch for PC gamers lately. First Warner Bros. decided to <a href="">pull Batman: Arkham Knight</a> from Steam after numerous reports of performance issues, then Square Enix followed suit by yanking the Mac version of Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn from store shelves due to "various problems." Now there are reports of performance issues in Grand Theft Auto V after applying the latest PC patch, Title Update 1.28.</p><p> It's not entirely clear what's going on, though initial evidence points some anti-modding and anti-hacking mechanisms Rockstar Games applied via patch 1.28. The creators of the LCPDFR mod for GTA V posted an potential <a href="" target="_blank">explanation on <em>Facebook</em></a> describing the technical details.</p><p> "In the latest update for GTA V, Ill Gotten Gains Part 2, Rockstar Games strengthened their protections against modding introduced in the first update. Included in this was a whopping 3 MB of junk code designed to confuse modders," the post explained. "Instead of the native functions of the game being accessible directly - we now have to jump through 4 or 5 hoops each time, as the game also implements live decryption and obfuscation methods. This severely impacts performance, resulting in gameplay at 3 frames per second - even on some of the strongest PC systems available today."</p><p> That might be the case, though <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>Express</em></a>, the degradation in performance is affecting both players with and without mods installed. The good news is, Rockstar Games is aware of the complaints and is looking into things.</p><p> "We have received reports of lower framerate in GTA V and GTA Online after Title Update 1.28 on PC, and we are looking into these reports now. If you would like to receive an automatic email notification as soon as there is more information, please log into the Support Site and click Subscribe at the top of this page," Rockstar stated today in a <a href="" target="_blank">support document</a>.</p><p> The latest patch follows a <a href="" target="_blank">ramped up effort</a> on Rockstar's part to "combat cheating and griefing."</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Survey Finds Majority of Internet Users are Sick of Passwords Internet users consider passwords cumbersome and difficult to remember.Mon, 13 Jul 2015 16:43:46 +0000 <h3>Consumers would welcome an alternative to passwords</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Incorrect Password"></p><p> It's a safe bet that part of the reason why so many people use easy-to-guess passwords like "123456" and "password" is because proper password security is a bother. This notion is underscored by a new survey suggesting that Internet users at large are very much open to password alternatives to protect their online accounts.</p><p> Accenture Research pinged 24,000 people spread out across half a dozen continents about their feelings towards passwords. Some 60 percent said they find usernames and passwords to be cumbersome, and more than three-fourths -- 77 percent, to be exact -- said they're interested in alternatives to passwords.</p><p> The challenge of having to remember hard-to-guess passwords isn't the only reason why Internet users want a change, they're also concerned with how secure passwords truly are.</p><p> "The widespread practice of typing usernames and passwords to log on to the Internet might soon become obsolete," <a href="" target="_blank">said Robin Murdoch</a>, managing director of Accenture’s Internet and Social business segment. "Consumers are increasingly frustrated with these traditional methods because they are becoming less reliable for protecting their personal data such as email addresses, mobile phone numbers and purchasing history."</p><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Password Infographic"></p><p> Interestingly, only 46 percent of respondents said they're confident in the security of their personal data. It's also not all that surprising, given how many hacker incidents (both big and small) occur on a yearly basis.</p><p> Are you content with passwords, or do you think it's time for a change in online security?</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Microsoft to Focus on Fans for Windows 10's Global Launch 10 launch will kick off via special events in 13 cities around the world.Mon, 13 Jul 2015 16:13:04 +0000 10 <h3>Get ready for a global celebration</h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Windows 10 PC"></p><p>When Microsoft launched Windows 7, it tapped customers to <a href="" target="_blank">host parties</a> designed to showcase the operating system. Those who agreed received a special Signature Edition of Windows Ultimate. No such incentive is needed for Windows 10, as Microsoft is handing out upgrades like Halloween candy to anyone rocking a Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 license, though it still wants fans to be a part of the launch process.</p><p> Microsoft is especially interested in recognizing the 5 million people who helped test and shape the forthcoming OS. To do that, the Redmond outfit will host "global fan celebrations" for Windows Insiders in 13 cities, including Sydney, Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, New Delhi, Dubai, Nairobi, Berlin, Johannesburg, Madrid, London, Sao Paolo, and New York City. The celebrations will consist of hands-on opportunities, product demos, entertainment (Microsoft didn't get into specifics here), and opportunities to meet the Windows team.</p><p> You can also look for Microsoft to celebrate the launch of Windows 10 in over 110 stores in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico.</p><p> "In select Microsoft Stores, fan celebrations will feature Windows 10 pop-up demo experiences, prizes, giveaways and more. Answer Desk services and free in-store workshops will help people learn how to get the most out of Windows 10," Microsoft said in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p><p> Microsoft has a lot riding on Windows 10. Truth be told, Windows 8 didn't get off to the kind of start Microsoft hoped, as consumers were either uninterested or confused by the Metro UI, which favored touch computing over mouse and keyboard controls.</p><p> Windows 10 puts the desktop experience back as the primary focus for desktop users, while introducing several new features and enhancements. It's also the last version of Windows -- going forward, Microsoft will use a Windows-as-a-Service (WaaS) model and dole out ongoing updates and feature upgrades as needed.</p><p> In addition to the fan celebrations, in-store launch extravaganzas, and a global advertising campaign that kicks off July 20th, Microsoft is committing to an yearlong "<a href="" target="_blank">Upgrade Your World</a>" philanthropic initiative.</p><iframe src="" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" width="620"> </iframe><p> "We are partnering with 10 global and 100 local nonprofits to help them upgrade the world. A total $10 million cash investment will be made in support of their missions and to promote awareness of their causes," Microsoft said.</p><p> All the hoopla aside, watch for Windows 10 to <a href="">roll out in waves</a> beginning July 29.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> China’s Tianhe-2 Retains Supercomputer Crown first topped the list in 2013.Mon, 13 Jul 2015 12:42:18 +0000 <h3>Once again tops the Top500 list</h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Tianhe-2 0"></p><p>According to the latest edition of Top500, a biannual list of the world’s fastest supercomputers, China’s Tianhe-2 (“Milky Way-2” in English) continues to be&nbsp;<a href=";utm_source=pulsenews" target="_blank">the most powerful supercomputer on the planet</a>. This is the fifth time in a row that the 3,120,000-core beast developed by the Chinese National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) has topped the list.</p><p> This isn’t surprising in the least if one considers what Top500’s Jack Dongarra (the man behind the all-important Linpack benchmark) had to say about the TH-2 a couple of years back. After being briefed about the TH-2 capabilities in May, 2013 &mdash; while the machine was still undergoing assembly and testing &mdash; Dongarra was of the view that the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Chinese supercomputer would go on to have a fairly long reign</a> at the top, with no competitor in sight until at least&nbsp;2015.</p><p> But China is not the overall leader in this field. That distinction belongs to the U.S., a country that accounts for nearly every second machine on the biannual list. And if that is not enough, five of the ten most powerful supercomputers in the world are also from the States.</p><p> Coming back to the TH-2, here is a quick rundown of its:</p><ul><li>Processors: 32,000 Intel Xeon CPU’s + 48,000 Xeon Phi’s (+ 4096 FT-1500 CPU’s frontend)</li><li>Interconnect: Proprietary high-speed interconnection network, TH Express-2</li><li>Memory: 1 PB</li><li>Storage: Global Shared parallel storage system, 12.4 PB</li><li>Cabinets 125 + 13 + 24 = 162 compute/communication/storage cabinets</li><li>Power: 17.8 MW</li><li>Cooling: Closed air cooling system</li></ul> Belgian Court Acquits Pirate Bay Founders in Copyright Infringement Case key operatives, the four defendants in the case are no longer associated with the torrent site.Mon, 13 Jul 2015 10:27:30 +0000 pirate baytorrent <h3> All of them have already served prison time in another case </h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="The Pirate Bay Verdict: Guilty with Jail Time and 3.6M Fines!"></p><p>The quartet, which was at the helm of The Pirate Bay’s affairs from the site’s founding in 2003 to its sale to a Seychelles-based company in 2006, can finally breathe easy. We are talking about the infamous torrent site’s co-founders Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij, erstwhile site spokesman Peter Sunde, and site financier Carl Lundström, who were recently acquitted by a Belgian court in a copyright infringement case.</p><p> According to a report published by Belgian newspaper&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">De Standaard</a> and picked up by other outlets, the four were alleged to have committed a number of crimes including intellectual property infringement, forgery, and abuse of electronic communications. The court, however, ruled there was nothing to show that they were connected with the site in any&nbsp;way during the said period. As mentioned above, the four defendants claim to have no severed all links with the site following its sale to a Seychelles-based company called Reservella in 2006.</p><p> All four of them have already served jail time in a 2009 copyright infringement trial in Sweden. Interestingly, Pirate Bay co-founder Fredrik Neij told in an interview recently that the site was&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">worth doing prison time for and that prison wasn’t as bad as he had expected</a>. So we take it that this is a missed opportunity for Neji.</p> Windows Store’s Music, Movies & TV Sections Now Available in More Countries 10 Store'sMusic, Movies TV sections aren't available everywhere.Mon, 13 Jul 2015 08:28:37 +0000 10 <h3> Windows 10’s unified Store experience includes apps, games, music, movies and TV shows </h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Windows 10 Laptop"></p><p>A couple of months back, Microsoft unveiled a new Store app for Windows 10. This new Windows Store is supposed to be a one-stop shop for all your software and entertainment needs, delivering apps, games, music, movies and TV shows all under one digital roof. While the unified Store experience isn’t available everywhere in its entirety at this stage, Microsoft is gradually expanding it to new countries.</p><p> The company said on Friday it was rolling out the ability to purchase music from within Windows Store to Windows 10 Insider Preview users in 17 additional countries: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and Sweden. Previously, only users from U.S., Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand were able to access the Store’s Music page. And there is some more good news for those in Brazil as the Movies &amp; TV section is now also available there.</p><p> “If you’re a Windows Insider running the latest build of the Windows 10 Insider Preview (Build 10166 for PC and Build 10149 for mobile), you can go to the Music page in the Store and browse new albums and top songs, browse for music by genre, and purchase music you want to own,” the company said in a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p> Windows 10 Box Art Reportedly Leaked art forWindows 10 Home and Pro editions appears on German site.Mon, 13 Jul 2015 07:25:43 +0000 Menuwindows 10 <h3> Start Menu features prominently on the cover </h3><p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Windows 10 Boxshots "></p><p>With the official release of Windows 10 just around the corner, you should fully expect any previously unknown details about the launch or the product itself to trickle out into the public domain over the course of the next fortnight or so. That’s probably what happened on Saturday when German site&nbsp;<a href=",87957.html" target="_blank"></a> published what it says are official Windows 10 box art renders.</p><p> While these images are said to be from an “official source,” it isn’t clear if these designs are final. Further, we don’t know if these box design are meant solely for retail DVDs (as appears to be the case) or also for Windows 10 USB sticks. Of course, none of this should be of any real concern to you if you’re eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10.</p><p> If these images are authentic, it seems there is one thing Microsoft wants the retail packaging to convey loud and clear: the Start Menu is back.</p><p>Image Credit:</p> Newegg Daily Deals: XFX TS Edition 650W PSU, Samsung 850 Pro 256GB SSD, and More!, what's the most important part of a PC? If you answered anything but "power supply," then you've yet to have one fail. The first time a generic PSU gives up the ghost in dramatic fashion -- sparks, loud noises, smoke coming from your PC -- is the last time you'll trust a no-name unit.Fri, 10 Jul 2015 18:53:03 +0000 dealsNeweggNews <p><img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Xfx Ts Psu"></p><p><strong>Top Deal:</strong></p><p>Quick, what's the most important part of a PC? If you answered anything but "power supply," then you've yet to have one fail. The first time a generic PSU gives up the ghost in dramatic fashion -- sparks, loud noises, smoke coming from your PC -- is the last time you'll trust a no-name unit. However, there's no need to learn that the hard way. Instead, check out today's top deal for an <a href="ttp://;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-PSU-N82E16817207014-_-0710&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">XFX TS Edition 540W Power Supply</a> for <strong>$65</strong> with free shipping (normally $70 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAVKA78</strong>]; additional $25 mail-in-rebate). This is an 80 Plus Bronze PSU with 53A available on its single +12V rail.</p><p><strong>Other Deals:</strong></p><p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-NETWORK-N82E16812270038-_-0710&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Bytecc 10 ft. 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Then let's suppose that said site benchmarked the chip and offered up comparisons to Intel's existing Core i7-4790K (Devil's Canyon). That would be pretty interesting, right? The only problem is, pesky NDAs typically prevent this sort of thing. That is, when they're followed.</p><p> We're not advocating that websites break embargoes, but since one already has (presumably, anyway), we're not going to look the other way, either. Such a scenario exists at <a href="" target="_blank"><em>TechBang</em>,</a> a Chinese-language website that purportedly posted the first benchmarks of Skylake-S (fist bump to <em><a href="" target="_blank">WCCFtech</a></em> for the heads up).</p><p> Before we dive into the results, let's quickly compare the two chips. The Core i7-6700K is a Skylake S part built on a 14nm manufacturing process. It's a quad-core chip with eight threads, 8MB of L3 cache, 4GHz/4.2GHz base/boost clockspeeds, and support for DDR4-2133 and DDR3L-1600 memory. On the graphics side, the Core i7-6700K boasts GT2 graphics with 48 execution units and clocked at 350MHz/1,067MHz base/boost.</p><p> In the other corner is the Core i7-4790K, Intel's flagship Devil's Canyon chip built on a 22nm process. It too is a quad-core CPU with Hyper Threading support and 8MB of L2 cache. Clockspeeds check in at 4GHz base and 4.4GHz boost. It's Intel HD Graphics 4600 has 20 execution units and is clocked at 350MHz/1,250MHz base/boost.</p><p> Since the two processors don't support the same socket, <em>TechBang </em>went with two different boards -- MSI Z97 Gaming motherboard for the Core i7-4790K and ECS Z170 Claymore for the Core i7-6700K.</p><p> For the most part, Skylake-S outpaced Devil's Canyon, though not always by a ginormous margin. In PCMark 8, the 6700K posted a score of 3,718, just 250 points higher than the 4790K (3,468). The lead was bigger in 3DMark Cloud Gate when using the integrated GPU -- 9,581 for the 6700K and 8,750 for the 4790K.</p><p> Things are looking good for Skylake-S, though take all the benchmarks with a sampling of salt, as they represents pre-release hardware with early drivers.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Google's Not Content with Thwarting 99.9 Percent of Gmail Spam shares some ways it plans to reduce the amount of spam that Gmail users receive.Fri, 10 Jul 2015 15:46:57 +0000 <h3>Better tools for stopping spam</h3><p> <img data-fullimage-src="" src="" alt="Gmail"></p><p> Google claims that less than 0.1 percent of email in the average Gmail inbox is spam, with the amount of junk mail landing in the spam folder being even lower at 0.05 percent. Assuming the claims are true, those are good numbers for Google to hang its hat on, though the tech giant isn't content.</p><p> "Gmail spam detection isn't perfect. So today we're sharing some of the new ways we are supporting the senders of wanted mail, and using the latest Google smarts to filter out spam," Google stated in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p><p> Part of Google's approach is to reduce the number of false positives -- things like monthly statements, ticket receipts, and other bits of email from companies that you may want to receive. To help ensure such communication gets through rather than routed to your spam folder, Google is launching Gmail Postmaster Tools.</p><p> "The Gmail Postmaster Tools help qualified high-volume senders analyze their email, including data on delivery errors, spam reports, and reputation. This way they can diagnose any hiccups, study best practices, and help Gmail route their messages to the right place," Google explains.</p><p> Google also outlined several technology upgrades designed to smarten up its spam filter. One of those is an artificial neural network to detect and block the kind of spam that's typically adept at evading detection.</p><p> In addition, advances in machine learning will make your Gmail's spam filter better at adapting to your individual preferences. For example, little Billy may love receiving newsletters and related communications, but you might not. By taking advantage of the "Report spam" and "Not spam" buttons, Gmail will do a better job at recognizes these sorts of things.</p><p> The last bit Google talked about was improving Gmail's spam filter to detect impersonation emails, which are often used in phishing scams. With the latest upgrade, Gmail can detect whether or not a message came from its claimed sender.</p><p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p>