Gaming http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/178/ en Assassin’s Creed Unity Free Game Offer Has a Caveat http://www.maximumpc.com/assassin%E2%80%99s_creed_unity_free_game_offer_has_caveat250 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u46168/ubi_game_offer.jpg" alt="Ubisoft ACU Free Game Offer Page" title="Ubisoft ACU Free Game Offer Page" width="228" height="175" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Ubisoft is offering a free game to Assassin's Creed Unity Season Pass holders</h3> <p><a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/ubisoft_offers_free_dlc_assassin%E2%80%99s_creed_unity_launch_woes_2014">Announced late last month</a>, the <a href="https://acu.ubi.com/" target="_blank">free Ubisoft game offer</a> for those who own the Assassin's Creed Unity Season Pass or Gold Edition is now live. In case your memory needs some jogging, let us remind you that this is not an act of festive largesse on Ubisoft’s part but a form of recompense for the bug-riddled mess that is Assassin’s Creed Unity. But wait! Turns out there’s more to the free game offer than meets the eye.</p> <p>If you look inside the offer’s terms and conditions, as the folks over at <a href="http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2014/12/18/your-assassin-s-creed-unity-season-pass-free-game-comes-with-a-legal-catch.aspx" target="_blank">Game Informer</a> did, you will find that those availing of the offer are effectively waiving their right to sue Ubisoft over any issues with the latest title in the popular franchise: “You hereby irrevocably and unconditionally release, waive, and forever discharge and covenant not to sue Ubisoft Entertainment S.A., and each of its past, present and future divisions, parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, predecessors, successors and assigns, together with all of their respective past, present and future employees, officers, shareholders, directors and agents, and those who give recommendations, directions, or instructions or engage in risk evaluation or loss control activities regarding the campaign (all for the purposes herein referred to as “released parties”) from any and all liability to you, your assigns, heirs, and next of kin for any and all claims, demands, charges, lawsuits, debts, defenses, actions or causes of action, obligations, damages, loss of service, compensation, pain and suffering, attorneys’ fees, and cost and expenses of suit, known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, arising out of or related to the purchase, acquisition, rental, possession and/or usage, and/or the intent to purchase, acquire, rent, possess and/or use, the assassin’s creed unity video game and/or the assassin’s creed unity season pass on any and all platforms, and/or related to the campaign, whether caused by the negligence of the released parties or otherwise.”</p> <p>Before you freak out, bear in mind that such waivers are not new and we have <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/microsoft_updating_user_agreements_block_class-action_claims" target="_blank">seen many a litigation-wary company turn to them</a> in a bid to limit, if not completely block, any future legal claims. Moreover, as pointed out by <a href="http://www.polygon.com/2014/12/20/7427437/assassins-creed-unity-free-game-lawsuit-class-action" target="_blank">Polygon</a>, a free Ubisoft game is probably worth as much as what individual “class members” would receive in a successful class action lawsuit over the game, anyway.</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="https://plus.google.com/107395408525066230351?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/assassin%E2%80%99s_creed_unity_free_game_offer_has_caveat250#comments assassin's creed unity free game Gaming pc ps4 ubisoft video games xbox one News Sun, 21 Dec 2014 22:17:56 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29126 at http://www.maximumpc.com HP Omen Review http://www.maximumpc.com/hp_omen_review_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3>A good sign</h3> <p>The word “omen” generally connotes bad juju for most people. For some longtime PC enthusiasts, however, it evokes fond memories of Voodoo PC’s old beautiful and powerful desktops. While HP isn’t bringing Voodoo PC back from the grave, it hopes to pay homage to the Omen namesake by rebirthing it as a modern gaming notebook.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u99720/hpomen.jpg" alt="HP Omen press shot" width="492" height="366" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The Omen isn't the most powerful notebook, but it's one of the most polished.</strong></p> <p>Right off the bat, you’ll notice that the 15.6-inch HP Omen is one sleek-looking laptop, with its machined-aluminum chassis. The anodized black finish coupled with its thin 0.8 inch body gives the notebook some added sex appeal. It’s also really portable for its class, weighing four pounds, 11.9 ounces.</p> <p>While we were a little dismayed to hear that it uses a 1080p monitor, something we’ve seen dozens of times over, this isn’t some mediocre display. It uses an IPS panel that features a 72 percent color gamut, which provides beautiful, saturated colors. It also sports a touchscreen, which makes it the first gaming laptop we’ve reviewed that offers one.</p> <p>We were generally pleased with the keyboard, which offers seven customizable color zones that you can tweak using HP’s Omen Control Panel software. The keys themselves offer a satisfying amount of travel and feel quite tactile, as a result. You also get a column of six macro keys on the left side of the keyboard, which is rare to see in a notebook of this size. We weren’t enamored of the Omen’s trackpad, however. Measuring 5.5 inches across, it’s so wide that we often found our resting fingers interfering with our swiping gestures.</p> <p>On opposite ends of the trackpad are a pair of LED lights that pulsate with the sound of your audio. It’s a unique touch that gives the notebook added flair. The speakers themselves are quite good and offer decent volume firepower. Despite being licensed by Beats Audio, a company known for its bass-heavy emphasis, the audio here is balanced.</p> <p>Unlike the sexy chassis, the specs of the laptop aren’t super fancy. It uses a 2.5GHz i7-4710HQ processor for its CPU. For its graphics card, HP went with the GeForce GTX 860M, which is the de facto GPU for thin gaming notebooks. The base model comes with two gigs of GDDR5 VRAM, but ours included four. In regard to system RAM, configs starts out at 8GB, which is fine in most instances, but our maxed-out unit came with 16GB.</p> <p>CPU performance was pretty average, performing ever so slightly faster than our Alienware 14 zero-point’s 2.4GHz i7-4700MQ processor. In GPU perf, we saw respectable gains between 20 and 60 percent. In short, our graphics tests reminds us that the 860M is a midrange card. It will run the majority of modern games at high settings with smooth framerates, but don’t expect to max out games here.</p> <p>While the laptop’s performance didn’t blow us away, neither did its fans (pun intended). The Omen isn’t silent, but it’s very reasonable under load. We’d go so far as to say HP found the perfect balance between performance and acoustics. The laptop is able to keep its cool by using dual fans that pull in cool air from the bottom, which it expels through the back. A benefit of this design is that gamers won’t have to worry about warm wrists.</p> <p>When it came to battery life, the laptop was pretty average. The first time we ran our video-rundown test, the notebook lasted a mediocre 172 minutes. When we turned off all the fancy LED lights, we got an extra half hour. Our biggest concern with the Omen really pertained to storage. While we love the fact that it uses the faster M.2 PCIe standard, we’re a little put off that it doesn’t support traditional hard drives. This means you’re topped off at 512GBs. Luckily, the drive is really fast, and allowed the notebook to boot up in 11 seconds.</p> <p>The Omen may not be the most powerful notebook out there, but it’s extremely polished and well-designed. Everything from its looks, portability, and thermals are top notch. While our decked-out unit cost $2,100, if you’re looking for a more affordable configuration, we recommend going with the $1,800 model, which includes a 512GB SSD, 8GB of RAM, and an 860M with 2GB of VRAM. It’s still a pretty good Omen.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/hp_omen_review_2014#comments Gaming Hardware HP Omen laptop notebook Thin voodoo pc Gaming Reviews Notebooks Wed, 17 Dec 2014 22:45:39 +0000 Jimmy Thang 29111 at http://www.maximumpc.com Xbox App Pops Up in Leaked Windows 10 Build http://www.maximumpc.com/xbox_app_pops_leaked_windows_10_build_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/xbox_logo.jpg" alt="Xbox Logo" title="Xbox Logo" width="228" height="228" style="float: right;" />Yes console games, we can all get along</h3> <p>There are several interesting things taking place in the <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/leaked_windows_10_build_9901_packs_slew_ui_changes543">leaked Windows 10 build</a>, the one that Microsoft is apparently <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_turns_new_leaf_isnt_bothered_windows_10_leaks_2014">super calm</a> about making the rounds. One that we wanted to touch a bit more on is a <strong>new Xbox app</strong>. This is something that Microsoft is still working on, as the app clearly states when it's fired up, but the Redmond outfit is so excited about it that it wanted to give early users a sneak peek.</p> <p>The folks over at <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2014/12/14/7389563/windows-10-xbox-app-cortana-features" target="_blank"><em>The Verge</em></a> have been playing around with Xbox app. They say it appears to act as a gateway into the entire Xbox ecosystem -- you'll have access to achievements, your friends list, activity feeds, and the Store. And since it's an extremely early version, there's speculation that the final release might include SmartGlass integration as well.</p> <p>As our sister site <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/windows-10-leaked-build-reveals-new-xbox-app/" target="_blank"><em>PC Gamer</em> points out</a>, there's a chance this could be what Microsoft's Phil Spencer was referring to a week ago when he said it was "time for us to talk about gaming on Windows." We're crossing our fingers that Spencer was hinting at something more than an Xbox app -- as cool as that is, accessing our Xbox achievements on our Windows rigs isn't exactly game changing.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/xbox_app_pops_leaked_windows_10_build_2014#comments app Gaming microsoft operating system OS Software Windows windows 10 xbox News Mon, 15 Dec 2014 19:30:13 +0000 Paul Lilly 29095 at http://www.maximumpc.com Digital Storm 'Eclipse' Shines Light on Slim Form Factor Gaming PCs http://www.maximumpc.com/digital_storm_eclipse_shines_light_slim_form_factor_gaming_pcs_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/digital_storm_eclipse.jpg" alt="Digital Storm Eclipse" title="Digital Storm Eclipse" width="228" height="139" style="float: right;" />A toned down version of the Bolt II</h3> <p>Boutique system builder <strong>Digital Storm today unveiled its new Eclipse small form factor (SFF) gaming PC</strong>. It's essentially the poor man's Bolt II. Checking in at about half the price of a Bolt II, the Eclipse is intended to "offer a premium gaming experience at an affordable price," and to accomplish that, Digital Storm took a more value-oriented approach to the system's component selection.</p> <p>"Eclipse fills a gap in the PC gaming market," said Harjit Chana, Chief Brand Officer, Digital Storm. "There are multiple high-end SFF systems like our own Bolt II, but fewer mainstream options focused on an affordable HD gaming experience."</p> <p>Pre-built Eclipse systems start at $699, which gets you a Level 1 (Good) configuration consisting of an Intel Pentium CPU that's unlocked, H97 chipset motherboard, 8GB of RAM, AMD Radeon R7 260X graphics card, 1TB HDD (7200 RPM), and Windows 8.1.</p> <p>A Level 2 (Better) system runs $899 and upgrades the CPU and GPU to an Intel Core i3 4350 and AMD Radeon R9 270X, respectively, while the Level 3 (Best) system bumps both up to an Intel Core i5 4590 and Nvidia GTX 760 for $999.</p> <p>Final, the Level 4 (Ultimate) configuration runs $1,299 and kicks things up a notch in nearly every area, including an upgrade to a Z97 chipset motherboard. It also features an Intel Core i5 4690K CPU, GeForce GTX 970 graphics card, 120GB Samsung Evo SSD, 1TB HDD, and DVD burner.</p> <p>The Digital Storm Eclipse is <a href="http://www.digitalstormonline.com/eclipse.asp" target="_blank">available now</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/digital_storm_eclipse_shines_light_slim_form_factor_gaming_pcs_2014#comments Digital Storm eclipse Gaming Hardware OEM rigs News Thu, 11 Dec 2014 17:00:38 +0000 Paul Lilly 29074 at http://www.maximumpc.com Cougar 500K Gaming Keyboard Takes Swipe at Membrane Market http://www.maximumpc.com/cougar_500k_gaming_keyboard_takes_swipe_membrane_market_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/cougar_500k.jpg" alt="Cougar 500K" title="Cougar 500K" width="228" height="147" style="float: right;" />Pro gamer functions of the Cougar 700K at a lower price</h3> <p><strong>Cougar today announced its 500K Gaming Keyboard</strong>. In doing so, the company piled on the hype pretty high as to why its new membrane plank is roughly on par with mechanical keyboards that have become so popular today, but at a lower cost. One of the reasons Cougar makes that claim is because the 500K is supposedly "one of the extremely few real N-Key Rollover membrane keyboards" available.</p> <p>"When it comes to features and functionality, the 500K is the best membrane keyboard currently available. For a start, being an N-Key Rollover membrane keyboard it outclasses all the non-NKRO keyboards and competes directly with high end mechanical keyboards. Apart from doing away with the precision gap between membrane and mechanical keyboards, the 500K also includes a whole set of premium gaming-oriented features," Cougar explains.</p> <p>I'm pretty big on mechanical keyboards myself, though I'm not ready to dismiss Cougar's claims outright. While few and far between, there do exist higher end membrane planks that rival the feel of mechanical key switches. Whether or not this is one of them is something only a hands-on evaluation can determine.</p> <p>In any event, the 500K sports the same layout as Cougar's 700K, which includes 6 fully customizable G-keys and dedicated keys for recording macros. Other features include profile switching, backlight control, Windows key lock, and a detachable palm rest.</p> <p>No word yet on price or availability.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/cougar_500k_gaming_keyboard_takes_swipe_membrane_market_2014#comments 500k cougar Gaming Hardware keyboard Peripherals News Thu, 11 Dec 2014 16:35:10 +0000 Paul Lilly 29073 at http://www.maximumpc.com AMD's Year End Gift to Gamers is Catalyst Omega, a Special Edition Driver http://www.maximumpc.com/amds_year_end_gift_gamers_catalyst_omega_special_edition_driver_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/catalyst_omega.jpg" alt="Catalyst Omega" title="Catalyst Omega" width="228" height="130" style="float: right;" />Performance improvements and bug fixes galore</h3> <p>Between the holiday sales and promotions that have been going on lately, your wallet or purse is probably significantly lighter than it was a month ago. Hey, tis the season for spending, right? Or perhaps it's giving, which the mood AMD is in these days. Closing out the year in style, <strong>AMD just released its Catalyst Omega special edition driver</strong>, which it describes as the biggest and best software upgrade it's released this year.</p> <p>"It's our of way of saying 'Thank you' and Happy Holidays," AMD stated in a blog post, though it's much more than that. Catalyst Omega represents a new era in driver design for AMD, one what will see major updates overflowing with new features, performance enhancements, and bug fixes, in addition to the regularly scheduled releases that are usually game-specific in optimizations. In a way, it's sort of like rival Intel's tick-tock schedule for CPUs, though instead of die shrinks and architecture changes, AMD's minor and major Catalyst releases will feature enhancements and feature-packed upgrades.</p> <p>In this particular case, installing the special edition Catalyst Omega driver will introduce featuers like 5K (5120x2880 at 60Hz) monitor support; Virtual Super Resolution (VSR), which renders games at a higher resolution and then displays them at a lower resolution with the supposed intent of delivering 4K-like visuals on a 1080p monitor; support for Alienware's Graphics Amplifier; Frame Pacing enhancements for dual-graphics setups; and lots more.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/catalyst_omega_slide.jpg" alt="AMD Catalyst Omega Slide" title="AMD Catalyst Omega Slide" width="620" height="365" /></p> <p>All tallied, there are over 20 new features and 400 bug fixes included in Catalyst Omega, plus a bunch of performance improvements. To give an example of the latter, AMD says Radeon R9 290X graphics card owners who install the special edition driver will see up to 19 percent faster gameplay in BioShock Infinite. Likewise, the driver boosts performance for A10 7850K APU owners by up to 29 percent in Batman: Arkham Origins.</p> <p>You can read more of what AMD had to say in its <a href="http://community.amd.com/community/amd-blogs/amd-gaming/blog/2014/12/08/a-very-special-edition-driver-amd-catalyst-omega" target="_blank">blog post</a>, and if you're sold, you can download Catalyst Omega <a href="http://support.amd.com/en-us/download" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/amds_year_end_gift_gamers_catalyst_omega_special_edition_driver_2014#comments amd catalyst omega driver Gaming Software News Tue, 09 Dec 2014 17:19:47 +0000 Paul Lilly 29059 at http://www.maximumpc.com Rumor: AMD’s Next-Gen GPU Family is Codenamed ‘Caribbean Islands’ http://www.maximumpc.com/rumor_amd%E2%80%99s_next-gen_gpu_family_codenamed_%E2%80%98caribbean_islands%E2%80%99882 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u46168/radeon_graphics_logo_0.jpg" alt="AMD R9 300 Series" title="AMD R9 300 Series" width="228" height="193" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Sorry Shakespeare, but GPU family names are kinda important</h3> <p>Those next-gen AMD GPU rumors are coming in thick and fast. Late last month, we had someone on Chinese tech forum ChipHell post <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/benchmarks_what_could_be_amd_r9_390x_allegedly_leaked300" target="_blank">some tantalizing performance numbers</a> that they claimed belonged to an upcoming (presumably a R9 300 series) graphics card and now we have a new report that is questioning something that the tech media has taken for granted until now — <strong>the codename of AMD’s next-gen GPU family</strong>.</p> <p>According to <a href="http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/36492-amd-next-gen-graphics-are-caribbean-islands" target="_blank">Fudzilla</a>, the company’s next-gen GPU series isn’t codenamed “Pirate Islands”, as has been widely believed for what now appears <a href="http://www.guru3d.com/news-story/new-codenames-volcanic-islands-appear.html" target="_blank">an eternity</a>, but “Caribbean Islands.” And lest you not take this report seriously, the author decided to personally vouch for the reliability of the site’s sources, who are apparently “never wrong about these things.” </p> <p>“AMD might actually confirm this at its February investor relations conference. It also shared the news with some of its partners,” Fudzilla said. “We won't go into details and speculate whether this is a planar 20nm or even 16 FinFET generation, as we simply don’t know at this time. We are sure speculation will be rampant and we will find out sooner or later.”</p> <p>Despite the site’s extreme confidence in the accuracy of this info, this is still nothing more than a rumor and therefore we’d like to see something more substantial; perhaps something like a leaked company slide or a customs manifest like the one that recently <a href="http://tradeyoga.com/result_import.aspx?import=FIJI+XT&amp;results1=84733030&amp;results2=CANADA&amp;results3=HYDERABAD+AIR+CARGO" target="_blank">confirmed the existence of an AMD GPU codenamed “Fiji XT”.<br /></a><br />As for a specific time frame for the launch, the site admittedly doesn’t have anything more accurate to offer at this stage other than “summer of 2015.” </p> <p>“The timeframe for the launch is not very accurate and we can't pinpoint it, so we are looking at a June to August launch window. That is the best range we can guess.”</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="https://plus.google.com/107395408525066230351?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/rumor_amd%E2%80%99s_next-gen_gpu_family_codenamed_%E2%80%98caribbean_islands%E2%80%99882#comments amd captain jack caribbean islands fiji xt Gaming gpu graphics card Hardware pirate islands radeon r9 300 rumors tonga xt News Mon, 08 Dec 2014 01:16:27 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29046 at http://www.maximumpc.com Razer's Limited Edition Classic Series are Popular Peripherals Retrofitted with Blue LEDs http://www.maximumpc.com/razers_limited_edition_classic_series_are_popular_peripherals_retrofitted_blue_leds_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/razer_classics.jpg" alt="Razer Classics" title="Razer Classics" width="228" height="145" style="float: right;" />Razer's feeling the blues</h3> <p><strong>Razer today unveiled its "Razer Classic" product line</strong> consisting of five exclusive products that can only be purchased from the company's website. These aren't new peripherals, but a collection of "tried and true" devices that have each been given retro blue backlighting as a throwback to Razer's early days in the gaming peripheral market. The goal is to offer "contemporary performance, but with a subtle nostalgic vibe," the company says.</p> <p>"In order to pay homage to our origins and the fans who’ve been through it all, our Razer Classic products with Blue LED backlighting commemorate a time when Razer first made its mark in the gaming world," <a href="http://www.razerzone.com/press/detail/press-releases/limited-edition-razer-classic-series-products-now-available-on-razerstore" target="_blank">says Min-Liang Tan</a>, Razer co-founder and CEO. "These products are available exclusively via RazerStore and, together with the free add-ons we’ve bundled with each product, you will get a great deal."</p> <p>The Classic series consists of the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate keyboard, DeathAdder mouse, Kraken 7.1 headset, Naga MMO mouse, and Tartarus keypad. Each one is Synapse enabled to allow for saved profiles in the cloud, and each come with a bonus item -- Goliathus Medium Control mouse mat with the DeathAdder and Naga, Goliathus Extended Control with the Tartarus, keyboard bag with the BlackWidow Ultimate, and headset stand with the Kraken 7.1.</p> <p>You can find all these items <a href="http://www.razerzone.com/exclusive" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/razers_limited_edition_classic_series_are_popular_peripherals_retrofitted_blue_leds_2014#comments classic series Gaming Hardware Peripherals razer News Thu, 04 Dec 2014 19:11:04 +0000 Paul Lilly 29034 at http://www.maximumpc.com Mionix Smart Gaming Mouse Knows When You're Stressed Out http://www.maximumpc.com/mionix_smart_gaming_mouse_knows_when_youre_stressed_out_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/mionix_naos_qg.jpg" alt="Mionix Naos QG" title="Mionix Naos QG" width="228" height="150" style="float: right;" />Aiming for the world's smart mouse</h3> <p><strong>Mionix is thinking a bit outside the cage for its newest mouse, the Naos QG</strong> (Quantified Gaming), which is currently on Kickstarter seeking $100,000 in funding. Described as the world's first smart mouse, the Naos QG is equipped with various sensors that track body reactions in order to provide "deep insights into your gaming." It's a similar concept to tracking data on athletes, and then using that data to improve their abilities.</p> <p>Sounds idealistic, though it's certainly interesting. I'm a fan of Mionix's rodents, and the design of the Naos QG looks similar to other models I've played with. What's different, however, is that it has a heart rate sensor and two galvanic skin response sensors built into the palm area. If you use a claw grip, it doesn't look like the sensors will do you any good; otherwise, they'll keep track of your heart rate and body reactions.</p> <p>That information is relayed via an on-screen overlay while you're in-game (you can customize the location). And if your stress data is through the roof, it will suggest you take a break.</p> <p>"Review the game on your own or with your teammates to understand when and why you are stressed. Make use of the data for efficient training and become a real gaming hero! Are you cool as a cucumber or a mental wreck when gaming?," Mionix says.</p> <p>The Naos QG will retail for $129, though there are still a few spots left to back the project at $79 (not many), which will come with the rodent. If you miss out, there's an Early Bird $89 tier that also comes with the mouse.</p> <p>Check out the <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/206180815/quantified-gaming-know-more-game-better" target="_blank">Kickstarter page</a> for more information.&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/4N57uUbpkQM" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/mionix_smart_gaming_mouse_knows_when_youre_stressed_out_2014#comments Gaming Hardware kickstarter mionix mouse Naos QG Peripherals News Thu, 04 Dec 2014 16:54:02 +0000 Paul Lilly 29032 at http://www.maximumpc.com Asus Unveils Strix 7.1 Gaming Headset http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_unveils_strix_71_gaming_headset342 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u46168/strix-7.1-true-7.1-channel-surround-gaming-headset.jpg" alt="Strix 7.1 Headset" title="Strix 7.1 Headset" width="228" height="188" style="float: right;" />Packs ten discrete drivers</h3> <p>Asus recently <a href="http://rog.asus.com/389002014/gaming-headsets/asus-announces-strix-7-1-surround-gaming-headset/" target="_blank">announced</a> a <strong>new gaming headset called the Strix 7.1</strong>. While it retains the same “iconic” owl-eye design as the Strix DSP that the company announced in July, this newest member of the Strix family differs from the DSP in one big way. Unlike the DSP, which has two massive 60mm drivers, the Strix 7.1 has as many as ten discrete drivers.</p> <p>There’s also a dedicated plug-and-play USB audio station to keep the Strix 7.1 company. Besides acting as a USB sound card, the audio station is responsible for delivering up to 90 percent noise cancellation. Other features include a headphone amplifier, volume control, lighting effects control and game audio preset selection. There are four game-audio spectrum profiles: FPS Gunfire Mode, FPS Footsteps Mode, Action/RPG Mode, Racing Mode.</p> <ul> <li>Connector: USB (via the audio station)</li> <li>Speaker driver dimensions: 40mm front; 40mm subwoofer; 30mm center; 20mm rear; 20mm side</li> <li>Driver material: Neodymium magnet</li> <li>Impedance: 32 ohms</li> <li>Frequency response: 20Hz–20kHz</li> <li>Lighting effects: Static/Breathing/Off</li> <li>Microphone type: Detachable</li> <li>Pick-up pattern: Unidirectional</li> <li>Frequency response: 50Hz–16kHz</li> <li>Sensitivity: -40 ± 3dB</li> <li>ENC performance (Audio Station): More than 90% environmental noise cancellation</li> </ul> <p>There’s no word on pricing and availability yet.</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="https://plus.google.com/107395408525066230351?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_unveils_strix_71_gaming_headset342#comments asus audio Gaming Hardware headset Peripherals strix 7.1 usb sound card News Mon, 01 Dec 2014 03:44:13 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29011 at http://www.maximumpc.com Turtle Beach Announces 'Heroes of the Storm' Themed PC Headset http://www.maximumpc.com/turtle_beach_announces_heroes_store_themed_pc_headset_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/turtle_bech_heroes_headset.jpg" alt="Turtle Beach Heroes Headset" title="Turtle Beach Heroes Headset" width="228" height="249" style="float: right;" />Now available in stores and online</h3> <p>In anticipation of Blizzard's upcoming multiplayer online battle arena game, audio peripheral company <strong>Turtle Beach announced today the availability of its Heroes of the Storm PC gaming headset</strong>. The headset features swappable speaker plates depicting iconic Blizzard characters from the past 20 years, including those found in its Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft franchises.</p> <p>At present there are just three speaker plates -- Arthas, Diablo, and Kerrigan -- though more will be added over time. Underneath the plates are 50nm neodymium drivers that supposedly deliver "crisp highs and booming lows."</p> <p>Turtle Beach says the breathable around-the-ear cushions are optimized for noise isolation and comfort. There's also a high-sensitive microphone on a removable boom and an inline remote with volume control and a microphone mute button.</p> <p>Heroes of the Storm is a team brawler combining characters from Blizzard's most popular franchises. It features 5 versus 5 matches on Battle.net with three game modes. Heroes rotate each week, though you can unlock permanent access to a hero through money earned in game or bought via microtransaction.</p> <p>Turtle Beach's headset is <a href="http://www.turtlebeach.com/product-detail/pc-headsets/heroes-of-the-storm-official-headset/560" target="_blank">available now</a> for $80 MSRP.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/turtle_beach_announces_heroes_store_themed_pc_headset_2014#comments audio Gaming Hardware headset heroes of the storm turtle beach News Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:04:46 +0000 Paul Lilly 28987 at http://www.maximumpc.com Acer Readying 27-inch WQHD Display with G-Sync Support http://www.maximumpc.com/acer_readying_27-inch_wqhd_display_g-sync_support321 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u46168/acer_xb270hu_wqhd_gsync_144hz.jpg" alt="Acer XB270HU" title="Acer XB270HU" width="228" height="236" style="float: right;" />XB270HU will deliver a 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time</h3> <p>Acer is said to be readying a new addition to the <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/acer%E2%80%99s_xb280hk_4k_g-sync_display_now_available_north_america764" target="_blank">XBO range of gaming displays</a> it launched a while back. A G-Sync enabled monitor like the two existing models in the XBO family, the upcoming XB270HU appears, based on its specs, to be a potential rival to the<strong> <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_rog_readies_swift_pg278q_monitor_nvidia_g-sync_august_release" target="_blank">27-inch Asus ROG Swift PG278Q</a></strong> that made its commercial debut in July as the world’s first WQHD (2560x1440) monitor with Nvidia’s G-Sync technology.</p> <p>According to UK-based site <a href="http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/news_archive/32.htm#acer_xb270hu">TFT Central</a>, the 27-inch XB270HU will be a WQHD TN panel display (could even be the same AU Optronics panel as the PG278Q) with a 1ms G2G response time, 144Hz refresh rate, 1000:1 contrast, 350 nits brightness, 170/160 viewing angles and, of course, G-Sync support. As for connections, it will include one DisplayPort input and as many as four USB 3.0 ports.</p> <p>At this time, we have nothing to report as far as its price is concerned. For that info you will have to wait a little bit longer as the XB270HU isn’t scheduled to come out until the first quarter of 2015.</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="https://plus.google.com/107395408525066230351?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/acer_readying_27-inch_wqhd_display_g-sync_support321#comments 144Hz Acer display g-sync Gaming monitor pg278q qhd wqhd XB270HU News Sun, 23 Nov 2014 21:54:41 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28976 at http://www.maximumpc.com Nvidia GeForce 344.75 WHQL Drivers Now Available to Download http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_geforce_34475_whql_drivers_now_available_download <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/geforce_gtx_980_gpu.jpg" alt="GeForce GTX 980 GPU" title="GeForce GTX 980 GPU" width="228" height="160" style="float: right;" />Incremental update boosts performance in Far Cry 4</h3> <p>Nvidia's been on a driver-releasing frenzy lately. Following two prior GeForce driver releases already this month, <strong>Nvidia has now made available its GeForce 344.75 WHQL driver</strong>, its third release in as many weeks. As with previous versions, the focus here is on new games --specifically, installing the GeForce 344.75 driver is supposed to offer the best gaming performance for Far Cry 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Crew, and World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor.</p> <p>According to the release notes (PDF), the driver also introduces support for Multi-Frame Sampled Anti-Aliasing (MFAA) mode. Bug fixes are plentiful, too.</p> <p>The latest driver is supposed to fix an issue that was causing choppy video playback of 3D Blu-ray moves, which is just one of many fixes. However, there are still some open issues that need to be resolved, like video picture-in-picture content not being played within Internet Explorer in 32-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7.</p> <p>You can download the latest driver <a href="http://www.nvidia.com/download/driverResults.aspx/79891/en-us" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_geforce_34475_whql_drivers_now_available_download#comments Drivers Gaming geforce 344.75 graphics nvidia whql News Tue, 18 Nov 2014 17:06:04 +0000 Paul Lilly 28949 at http://www.maximumpc.com AMD Rumor Points to a Faster Hawaii Graphics Card http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_rumor_points_faster_hawaii_graphics_card_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amd_radeon_0.jpg" alt="AMD Radeon" title="AMD Radeon" width="228" height="190" style="float: right;" />AMD might not be finished with Hawaii</h3> <p>Ever since AMD launched its Hawaii GPU architecture, there have been rumblings that a faster version exists, perhaps locked away in the Sunnyvale chip designer's underground vault for a rainy day. If that's the case, be on the lookout for storm clouds -- <strong>word on the web is that AMD will launch a faster Hawaii part next year before it comes out with Fiji</strong>. How exactly it will be faster isn't yet known.</p> <p>There are multiple paths AMD could take, from higher clock speeds to more stream processors. AMD could also make optimizations to the architecture, though none of this is confirmed, of course. Whatever the case may be, news and rumor site <em>Fudzilla </em>seems to feel confident that a faster card is coming.</p> <p>"We have learned that AMD plans to launch another Hawaii-based product before it releases Fiji," <a href="http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/36326-amd-to-launch-faster-hawaii-iteration" target="_blank"><em>Fudzilla</em> said</a>, adding that both are scheduled to arrive in the first half of 2015.</p> <p>If that's the case, the likely scenario will be a faster clocked part. The folks at <a href="http://wccftech.com/amd-working-faster-gcn-hawaii-gpu-launching-radeon-r9-380x-year/" target="_blank"><em>wccftech.com</em></a>, another site that's known for digging up unannounced information, thinks the new Hawaii GPU will be part of the Radeon R9 300 series rather than the current R9 200 series. The site surmises that the recent price cuts indicate AMD wants to push out as many GCN GPUs as they can in the 200 series before bumping up to its first round of R9 300 parts.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_rumor_points_faster_hawaii_graphics_card_2014#comments amd Build a PC Gaming graphics card Hardware hawaii Video Card News Mon, 17 Nov 2014 21:30:13 +0000 Paul Lilly 28947 at http://www.maximumpc.com Asus ROG Readies Maxwell for Water, Announces Poseidon GTX 980 http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_rog_readies_maxwell_water_announces_poseidon_gtx_980_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_rog_poseidon_gtx_980.jpg" alt="Asus ROG Poseidon GTX 980" title="Asus ROG Poseidon GTX 980" width="228" height="186" style="float: right;" />Hybrid thermal solution offers both air and liquid cooling options</h3> <p>Feeling indecisive these days? Don't sweat it -- <strong>Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) this week announced its Poseidon GTX 980 graphics card with DirectCU H20</strong>, a hybrid cooling solution capable of keeping temps at bay by air or water, dealer's choice. The benefit of having both is that you can cool the card by air today and make the leap to liquid cooling down the line, if that's your longer-term goal.</p> <p>According to Asus, the new card runs up to 27C cooler than reference (with water), is three times quieter, and offers 10 percent faster gaming performance in games like Watch Dogs. That's all thanks to the custom vapor chamber that comes in direct contact with the GPU, along with copper heat pipes and extended cooling fins.</p> <p>"ROG Poseidon GTX 980 is also loaded with ROG technologies and innovations, including dual dust-proof fans for increased card longevity, die-cast thermal armor for improved cooling in the crucial MOSFET area, Digi+ voltage-regulation modules (VRMs) with black metallic capacitors for incredible stability and up to a 5X-longer lifespan than reference," <a href="http://rog.asus.com/383202014/gaming-graphics-cards-2/asus-republic-of-gamers-announces-poseidon-gtx-980/" target="_blank">Asus says</a>.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/asus_rog_poseidon_gtx_980_opened.jpg" alt="Asus ROG Poseidon GTX 980 Opened" title="Asus ROG Poseidon GTX 980 Opened" width="620" height="453" /></p> <p>This is the first Maxwell-based card to receive the ROG treatment, which in addition the above includes things like LED lighting and a sturdy backplate.</p> <p>Connectitivy options consist of a native Dual-Link DVI-I port, HDMI 2.0 output, and three Native DisplayPort 1.2 outputs.</p> <p>No word yet on when the card will be available or for how much.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_rog_readies_maxwell_water_announces_poseidon_gtx_980_2014#comments asus Build a PC Gaming graphics card Hardware liquid cooling poseidon gtx 980 Republic of Gamers ROG Video Card News Wed, 12 Nov 2014 20:39:37 +0000 Paul Lilly 28898 at http://www.maximumpc.com