News en Valve Releases Steam Discovery Update, Steam Store Gets Revamped <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/steam-logo.jpg" alt="Steam Logo" title="Steam Logo" width="200" height="200" style="float: right;" />Over 100 million active Steam accounts</h3> <p>While Steam is the largest digital distribution platform for video games, its store homepage presentation and search function has been in need of renovation for a while. And it has finally received one. <strong>Valve has launched the Steam Discovery Update</strong> that has improved the Steam Store’s appearance, made it easier to search for games, and adds a new Curator feature.</p> <p>"We have made great efforts to increase the number of titles we can publish on Steam, which means more choices for customers," said Valve UI designer Alden Kroll. "This update introduces multiple features and functionality to help customers explore Steam's growing catalog and find the games they are most interested in playing."</p> <p>Steam, which has over 100 million active accounts now, has become a bit of a chore to navigate when looking for new PC games to purchase. But with the Steam Discovery Update, it has that is no longer the case There are new filters that makes browsing through Steam’s catalog of 3,700 titles, 1,300 of which have been added over the last nine months according to Valve, easier. For example, users are now able to filter out games they already own, Early Access releases, and non-gaming software from their search results.</p> <p>Consumers will also have access to customization options that will show the products they would be interested in purchasing. In addition, users will receive recommendations based on their recent gameplay, past purchases, suggestions from friends, and recommendations from Curators.</p> <p>Steam Curators are the new “tastemakers,” as Valve puts it, of the Steam Community. Curators is another form of a Steam Community group capable of making recommendations that will show up on a follower’s homepage. To become a Curator, you will need to create your own Steam Community group or be an officer/moderator of one. Then make at least 10 recommendations on Steam in order to shop up on lists to other users that are searching for Curators to follow.</p> <p>So what do you think of the redesign? Do you like it or do you prefer the old layout? Sound off in the comments below!</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> Alden Kroll Steam Steam Curators Steam Discovery Update Steam homepage Valve Gaming News Tue, 23 Sep 2014 01:41:04 +0000 Sean D Knight 28588 at Razer Announces Open Beta for Razer Synapse: Stats & HeatMaps Software <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/razer_synapse.jpg" alt="Razer Synapse Logo" title="Razer Synapse Logo" width="200" height="200" style="float: right;" />Track your mouse clicks and key presses</h3> <p>Razer has been rather busy with adding a new feature to <a title="MPC Razer Chroma" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Chroma</span></a> and, more recently, releasing <a title="MPC Razer Cortex" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Razer Cortex</span></a> to help players find the best video game deals. If that weren’t enough, <strong>Razer has announced an open beta for Razer Synapse: Stats &amp; Heatmaps</strong>.</p> <p><a title="Stats &amp; Heatmaps" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Stats &amp; Heatmaps</span></a> is a new software feature for <a title="MPC Razer Synapse 2.0" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Razer Synapse</span></a>, the company’s cloud-based settings network, which will allow users to collect data that tracks and shares their mouse clicks, keyboard presses, and more. The information collected can then be shown as raw data or as an overlay over a default or custom in-game screenshot that will show your mouse movements and clicks. Those wishing to share their statistics with other gamers will be able to share it on Facebook and Twitter.</p> <p>“This is a fun and unique way that we can add value to our industry-leading products after purchase,” said Razer ceo Min-Liang Tan. “We’re able to visually show gamers, empirically, how they interact with their favorite games. This information can help with anything from improving hotkey and mini-map usage to mouse mat selection and mouse DPI settings, in addition to the multitude of uses it could have for developers when they design game interfaces. Unfortunately it’s next to impossible to ensure compatibility with the thousands of games out there, so we’re counting on our millions of software users to help us test and expand game compatibility.”</p> <p>Razer plans to add the ability for users &nbsp;to record actions-per-minute at a later date through Stats &amp; Heatmaps.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> razer Razer Synapse Razer Synapse: Stats & Heatmaps Stats & Heatmaps News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 23:34:43 +0000 Sean D Knight 28586 at 9 Things We Want in Windows 9 <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/windows_8_scribbled.jpg" alt="Windows 8 Scribbled" title="Windows 8 Scribbled" width="228" height="158" style="float: right;" /></p> <h3>We want better 4K support and more from Windows 9&nbsp;</h3> <p>If we're being totally, completely, 100 percent honest, we settled for Windows 8. That's not easy to admit, especially after applying some well needed Updates (previously known as Service Packs) that zapped some of our original complaints. Don't get us wrong, it never was, nor is it still a terrible operating system -- the comparisons to Windows ME or even Windows Vista's early days are off base -- but certainly Microsoft didn't have our best interests in mind. By "our interests," we're talking about power users, enthusiasts, and generally anyone tech savvy enough to know the difference between RAM and a hard drive. Hell, Windows 8 designer <a href="">Jacob Miller admitted as much</a> several months ago (Microsoft's good at <a href="">coming clean after the fact</a>).</p> <p>Truth be told, Microsoft catered to the lowest common denominator -- the ones who call you up every 3-4 weeks because their PC is riddled with pop-up ads again -- and attempted to hold their hands as Redmond walked them through its vision of what would one day become a beautiful walled garden where new and experienced users frolicked happily among the colorful tiles singing songs of praise. Our apologies if you just threw up in your mouth a little bit.</p> <p>Here's the thing -- we've grown accustomed to Windows 8, and having spent copious time with it, we no longer feel the rage we once did every time the Start screen would load. That's partially because we're now able to boot directly into the Desktop, but the bigger reason is the one we stated above. We settled, plain and simple.</p> <p>With that said, <a title="windows 9" href="" target="_blank">Windows 9 is on the horizon</a>, and this is Microsoft's chance to atone for Windows 8 and earn back some street cred with power users. It's a do-over, and no, it's not too late. If Windows 9 comes out and blows our minds with levels of awesome we've never seen before, all will be forgiven (just as we've done before). But in order for that to happen, Microsoft has to get it right.</p> <p>That's no easy task, so to help our friends at Microsoft, we came up with a list of 9 things we want to see in Windows 9. Are you reading this, Redmond? Good, because these 9 wishlist items conveniently assembled into a photo gallery collectively represent your golden ticket back into our good graces. Let's begin!</p> 4k support features gallery microsoft operating system OS Software threshold Windows windows 9 wishlist News Features Mon, 22 Sep 2014 22:06:08 +0000 Paul Lilly 28547 at Humble Bundle is Gifting Tropico 3 for Free Today Only <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/tropico_3.jpg" alt="Tropico 3" title="Tropico 3" width="228" height="230" style="float: right;" />Can't beat the price!</h3> <p>Why pay for a game when you get it for free? That's not an invitation to go pirate a PC title via BitTorrent or any other method, we're just wondering if you like free stuff. The answer? Of course you do! The reason we ask is because if you act fast, you can <strong>grab Tropico 3 for free from the Humble Bundle Store</strong>. The deal is good for one day only and is set to expire tomorrow at 10AM Pacific / 1PM Eastern.</p> <p>There are no major strings attached to the deal, unless you consider Steam's digital distribution platform a string (you also have to fork over your email for the deal). Simply <a href="" target="_blank">click on this link</a>, enter your email address, click on the URL that gets emailed to you, and activate the license on Steam. When you're finished, you can go back to the original link and refresh the page, only this time check the "This is a gift" box when entering your email. You'll be emailed a URL to give to your buddy.</p> <p>While you're moseying about the Humble Store, you can check out a bunch of discounted titles as part of the End of Summer Sale encore. Some notable standouts include Far Cry 3 Deluxe Edition ($7.99, down from $39.99), South Park The Stick of Truth ($19.99, down from $39.99), Batman Arkham City GOTY Edition ($4.99, down from $19.99), Batman Arkham Asylum GOTY Edition ($4.99, down from $19.99), and Hitman Absolution ($4.99, down from $19.99), to name just a few.</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> games humble bundle Software tropico 3 News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 20:45:46 +0000 Paul Lilly 28584 at Intel Plans to Spend $6 Billion Upgrading Chip Plant in Israel <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/intel_fab_28.jpg" alt="Intel Fab 28" title="Intel Fab 28" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />The deal calls for an Israeli grant of $300 million over five years</h3> <p><strong>Intel has hammered out a deal with Israel's finance and economy ministries to invest $6 billion towards upgrading its chip manufacturing plant in the region</strong>. That figure qualifies as the largest single investment by a foreign company in Israel, and in return, Intel will receive a government grant of $300 million over five years. The chip maker will also be eligible for a corporate tax rate of just 5 percent for the next 10 years.</p> <p>"Intel's investment is a strategic asset for Israel's industry," Finance Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>Reuters</em></a>. "This is the biggest investment by a foreign company ever in Israel and is further proof that Israel is at the forefront of technology and innovation."</p> <p>After upgrades, Intel's chip plant is expected to be the most advanced fab in the world. It will also result in 1,000 more workers being hired at the plant by 2023, in addition to the 2,500 currently employed there.</p> <p>Intel collected $3.8 billion in export revenue from the plant in 2013, and $4.6 billion the year prior.</p> <p>Image Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Intel</a></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> Hardware intel Israel manufacturing News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 18:37:07 +0000 Paul Lilly 28583 at Asus and Gigabyte May Lower Motherboard Prices to Reach Shipment Goals <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gigabyte_g1_gaming_motherboard.jpg" alt="Gigabyte G1 Gaming Motherboard" title="Gigabyte G1 Gaming Motherboard" width="228" height="202" style="float: right;" />Watch for lower priced motherboards in Q4</h3> <p>We've already mentioned that Asus and Gigabyte may engage each other in a price of war of sorts as each one attempts to ship more motherboards than the other. However, weaker than expected demand in China combined with soft retail channel orders ahead of the country's National Day holidays are likely to cause both companies to fall short of their shipment goals. As a result, <strong>Asus and Gigabyte might be even more aggressive with motherboard price cuts than previously anticipated</strong>.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Digitimes</em></a>, Asus and Gigabyte are both expected to ship around 5.6 million motherboards in the third quarter. That figure is below what each company was expecting, as the two firms hoped that Intel's new Haswell-E processor launch and 9 Series chipsets would spark a replacement trend among consumers.</p> <p>Even with Haswell-E on the table, motherboard sales are falling a bit short. In order for Asus and Gigabyte to reach their stated 20-22 million motherboard shipment goal by the end of the year, the companies will need a strong fourth quarter. Sources tell<em> Digitimes</em> that price competition among the two is expected to "grow even fiercer."</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> asus Build a PC gigabyte Hardware motherboard News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 18:09:23 +0000 Paul Lilly 28582 at No BS Podcast #232: GeForce GTX 980, Haswell-E, Minecraft, and Windows 9 <!--paging_filter--><h3>The old format returns to discuss a ton of news</h3> <p>After speaking with a bunch of hardware insiders over the past few weeks, the <a title="no bs podcast" href="" target="_blank">No BS podcast</a> is back to the original swing of things with <strong><a title="maximum pc no bs 232" href="" target="_blank">episode 232</a></strong>. This jam-packed podcast brings the Maximum PC crew together to talk about several important topics which include the recent reveal of <a title="gtx 980 review" href="" target="_blank">Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 980</a>, <a title="haswell e" href="" target="_blank">Haswell-E</a>, Microsoft’s <a title="microsoft minecraft" href="" target="_blank">$2.5 billion Minecraft acquisition</a>, <a title="windows 9" href="" target="_blank">Windows 9</a>, and <a title="5k" href="" target="_blank">5K</a> monitors.&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Update:</strong> <a title="iphone 6" href="" target="_blank">Here</a> is that Apple article Gordon was ranting about at the end if you're interested.</p> <p><a title="Download Maximum PC Podcast #232 MP3" href="" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u160416/rss-audiomp3.png" width="80" height="15" /></a>&nbsp;<a title="Maximum PC Podcast RSS Feed" href="" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u160416/chicklet_rss-2_0.png" width="80" height="15" /></a>&nbsp;<a href=""><img src="/files/u160416/chicklet_itunes.gif" alt="Subscribe to Maximum PC Podcast on iTunes" title="Subscribe to Maximum PC Podcast on iTunes" width="80" height="15" /></a></p> <h4 style="margin: 0px 0px 5px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 19px; vertical-align: baseline; letter-spacing: -0.05em; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; color: #990000;">Subscribe to the magazine for only 99 cents an issue:</h4> <h5><a title="Subscribe to Maximum PC Magazine" href="" target="_blank">In print</a></h5> <h5><a title="Subcribe to Maximum PC Magazine on Zinio" href="" target="_blank">On Zinio</a></h5> <h5><a title="Subscribe to Maximum PC Magazine on Google Play" href=";hl=en" target="_blank">On Google Play</a></h5> <h5><a title="Subcribe to Maximum PC Magazine on iTunes" href="" target="_blank">On iTunes</a></h5> <h5><a title="Subscribe to Maximum PC Magazine on Amazon Kindle" href=";qid=1406326197">On the Amazon Kindle Store</a></h5> <h5><a title="Subcribe to Maximum PC Magazine on Your Nook" href="" target="_blank">On the Barnes &amp; Noble Nook Store</a></h5> <h4 style="margin: 0px 0px 5px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 19px; vertical-align: baseline; letter-spacing: -0.05em; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; color: #990000;">Stalk us in a number of ways:</h4> <p>Become a fan&nbsp;<a title="Maximum PC Facebook page" href="" target="_blank">on Facebook</a></p> <p>Follow us&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">on Twitter</a></p> <p>Subscribe to us&nbsp;<a title="Maximum PC Youtube page" href="" target="_blank">on Youtube</a></p> <p>Subscribe&nbsp;<a title="Maximum PC RSS Feed" href="">to our RSS feed</a></p> <p>Subscribe&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">to the podcast on iTunes</a></p> <p>email us at:&nbsp;<a href="">maximumpcpodcast AT gmail DOT com</a></p> <p>Leave us a voicemail at 877-404-1337 x1337</p> 232 geforce gtx 980 haswell e maximum pc microsft minecraft No BS Podcast windows 9 News No BS Podcast Mon, 22 Sep 2014 17:31:37 +0000 The Maximum PC Staff 28560 at Biostar Tries Going High-End with Hi-Fi Z97Z7 Motherboard <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/biostar_hi-fi_z97z7.jpg" alt="Biostar Hi-Fi Z97Z7" title="Biostar Hi-Fi Z97Z7" width="228" height="186" style="float: right;" />How do you like the view up here, Biostar?</h3> <p>Quick, blurt our the first brand that comes to mind when you think about high-end motherboards. Did you say Biostar? Lies! We would have accepted several brand names, though Biostar isn't one that's typically associated with premium boards (to be fair, the company has released a few top dwellers). We don't know if that's going to change, and apparently neither does Biostar, which "launched the first development of what might become a possible series of high-end gaming boards." That's how <strong>Biostar describes its new Hi-Fi Z97Z7 motherboard</strong>. Might? Possible? C'mon Biostar, if you're going to play with the big boys, you need to bring a barrel of confidence with you!</p> <p>Biostar's hesitation aside, the company's newest board is based on Intel's Z97 chipset with support for Intel socket 1150 CPUs (hello Haswell, but not Haswell-E). It's a full size ATX mobo with four DIMM slots supporting up to 32GB of DDR3-2800 (OC) RAM, a single PCI-E x16 3.0 slot, a single PCI-E x16 2.0 slot, two PCI-E x1 2.0 slots, two standard PCI slots, four SATA 6Gbps connectors, a SATA Express connector, four USB 3.0 ports plus a header, two USB 2.0 ports plus a header, GbE LAN, HDMI and DVI connectors, and various other odds and ends.</p> <p>It's not the most feature-rich board on the planet, though it does have some higher end goodies, such as "super durable solid caps," a "super durable Ferrite choke," a "super durable box header," 8-phase power design, moisture proof PCB, ESD protection, Hi-Fi audio with a built-in amp and 110dB+ rating, "Super Rapid Debug 3" for providing POST code information, and more, all of which you can read about on the board's <a href="" target="_blank">product page</a>.</p> <p>And then there's the price -- Biostar says its Hi-Fi Z97H7 has an MSRP of $120, which seems reasonable to us. No word yet on when it will be available.</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> Biostar Build a PC Hardware hi-fi z97z7 motherboard z97 News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:44:53 +0000 Paul Lilly 28580 at Corsair Gaming: A New Brand Designation for Gamer-Centric Peripherals <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/k95_rgb.jpg" alt="Corsair Gaming K95 RGB" title="Corsair Gaming K95 RGB" width="228" height="146" style="float: right;" />Watch out Razer, here comes Corsair Gaming</h3> <p>Call it a marketing play if you will, but <strong>Corsair is determined to demonstrate its commitment to PC gamers by creating a new division called Corsair Gaming</strong>. It's under this new title that Corsair will release new and rebranded peripherals for gamers, starting with three RGB keyboards (K95 RGB, K70 RGB, and K65 RGB), two RGB mice (M65 RGB in black or white color options), and a pair of headsets (H1500 and H1500).</p> <p>"For 20 years, Corsair has equipped gamers with high performance, precision hardware to build their dream PCs. Corsair Gaming now introduces new ways for PC gamers to optimize how they play," said Andy Paul, Corsair President and CEO. "We’ve brought together our engineering expertise and our passion for gaming to build a line of products that delivers performance, customized for however you play."</p> <p>The RGB keyboards headline the new Corsair Gaming brand. All three use only German-made Cherry MX RGB mechanical key switches available in red, blue, or brown (K65 RGB only comes with Cherry MX red key switches). They also sport aircraft-grade aluminum baseplates. So, what's the difference between the three? The K65 RGB features a standard keyboard layout and media keys; the K70 RGB sports a compact design with the number pad removed and media keys removed; and the flagship K95 RGB offers an additional arry of 18 dedicated macro keys and dedicated media keys.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/m65_rgb.jpg" alt="Corsair Gaming M65 RGB" title="Corsair Gaming M65 RGB" width="620" height="271" /></p> <p>Corsair's M65 RGB mice come housed in a durable aluminum unibody chassis and feature an 8,200 DPI, Omron switches rated for 20 million clicks, and adjustable weight system, and eight "strategically" placed buttons, including a sniper button.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/corsair_gaming_headsets.jpg" alt="Corsair Gaming H2100 and H1500" title="Corsair Gaming H2100 and H1500" width="620" height="377" /></p> <p>As for the headsets, the H2100 is a wireless solution and the H1500 comes with a cord. Otherwise, both purport to offer Dolby 7.1 surround sound and have 50mm neodymium drivers, micro-fiber wrapped memory foam earpads, and unidirectional noise-cancelling microphones.</p> <p>Pricing breaks down as follows (MSRP shown):</p> <ul> <li>K95 RGB: $190</li> <li>K70 RGB: $170</li> <li>K65 RGB: $150 (available only at Best Buy in the U.S.; other retailers worldwide)</li> <li>M65 RGB (white or black): $70</li> <li>H2100: 100</li> <li>H1500: $80</li> </ul> <p>You can find out more at <a href="" target="_blank">Corsair Gaming's website</a>.</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> corsair gaming h1500 h2100 Hardware headset k65 rgb k70 rgb k95 rgb keyboard m65 rgb mouse Peripherals News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:12:57 +0000 Paul Lilly 28579 at ARChron Hack Brings Android Apps to Chrome for Linux, OS X and Windows <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="ARChron" title="ARChron" width="228" height="151" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Theoretically, almost any app can be ported</h3> <p>When Google first announced Chrome OS in 2009, among the few people who were polite enough to not dismiss it outright, and predict for it either a stillbirth or an early demise, were those who saw a merger with Android as its ultimate fate. Of course, let alone a full-blown merger, we have yet to see substantial interplay between the two platforms. The best we have seen, all these years down the line, is the <strong>ability to run a grand total of four Android apps on Chrome OS</strong> — and that too is a very recent development. Even now, Google is only working with “a select group of Android developers” and is unlikely to bring more than a handful of mobile apps to Chrome OS in the near future. Well, that’s what hacks are for, right?</p> <p>A developer named Vlad Filippov (a.k.a Vladikoff) has not not only figured out a <a href=";utm_source=pulsenews" target="_blank">way to run virtually any Android app on Chrome OS</a>, he has also found a way to do so using the Chrome browser on major desktop OSes like OS X, Linux and Windows. To this end, he has released a custom version of <a href="" target="_blank">App Runtime for Chrome (ARC)</a>, the Native Client-based Chrome OS extension that enables Android apps to run on Chrome — the APK needs to be converted into a Chrome extension. Unlike ARC, which is only compatible with Chrome OS,&nbsp; the hacked version called <a href="">ARChon</a> can be used to run Android apps inside the Chrome browser. As for converting APKs into Chrome extensions, the Toronto-based developer has released a tool called “<a href="" target="_blank">chromeos-apk</a>”.</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> app runtime for chrome apps archron chrome chrome os hack linux nacl native client OS OS X Software Windows News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 06:54:08 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28578 at New ‘Crescent Bay’ Rift Prototype Impresses with Better Display, 360-degree Tracking <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Crescent Bay Oculus Rift Prototype" title="Crescent Bay Oculus Rift Prototype" width="228" height="129" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Oculus making steady progress on road to consumer Rift</h3> <p>At its two-day Oculus Connect developer conference in Los Angeles this week, Facebook-owned Oculus VR introduced a new, improved version of its Rift virtual reality head mounted display (HMD).<strong> Called Crescent Bay, this latest prototype packs a number of improvements over the DK2 model.&nbsp;</strong> These improvements, the company says, are enough to ensure a level of immersion “that’s impossible to achieve with DK2.”</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Crescent Bay</a> is said to have a higher-resolution display than the DK2, which began shipping in July with a full HD OLED display (960 x 1080 pixels per eye). Although the company has chosen to keep Crescent Bay’s specs under wraps, most reports point to a 1440p screen or better. According to <a href="" target="_blank">The Verge</a>, a higher resolution is not the only notable improvement where the display is concerned but there are a number of other improvements that make it better overall than the DK2.</p> <p>Besides the improved display, the Crescent Bay also packs 360° head tracking, expanded positional tracking volume, improved weight and ergonomics, and integrated audio.</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> crescent bay Gaming headset hmd oculus rift virtual reality vr News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 04:14:07 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28577 at Acer’s XB280HK 4K G-Sync Display Arriving Next Month for $800 (Updated) <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Acer 4K G-Sync Display" title="Acer 4K G-Sync Display" width="228" height="192" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>First 4K UHD display with G-Sync</h3> <p><em>Correction: An earlier version of this article wrongly claimed that the Acer XB280HK was already up for sale in North America when, in fact, it's the full HD <a href="" target="_blank">XB270H</a> ($599) and not the 4K XB280HK that has gone on sale. The error is regretted.</em></p> <p>The <a href="">28-inch 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) computer monitor Acer announced back in May</a> will be available in the United States and Canada sometime next month, the company announced in a <a href="" target="_blank">press release</a> Friday. The <strong>Acer XB280HK is the first 4K monitor to come with an Nvidia G-Sync module.</strong></p> <p>The XB280HK is a TN (twisted nematic) display with a 60Hz refresh rate. Of course, support for Nvidia’s G-Sync technology means that this refresh rate can be adjusted automatically to match that of the GPU (<a href="" target="_blank">see eligible models</a>), thereby obviating any screen tearing and keeping both stutter and input lag in check.</p> <p>“The incredibly sharp and smooth images provided by NVIDIA G-SYNC technology are sure to thrill the most avid gamers. Combined with Acer’s highly flexibly ergonomic stand, non-glare ComfyView panel and low dimming technology, users are assured long hours of both comfortable and visually stunning game play,” Ronald Lau, Acer America business manager, said in the press release.</p> <p>The US$799 ($849.99 CAD) XB280HK delivers 170/170 viewing angles (horizontal and vertical), 1.07 billion colors, 1000:1 native contrast ratio, 300 nits brightness, and 72 percent NTSC color saturation. Further, it is equipped with DisplayPort and as many as four USB 3.0 ports.</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> Acer display Gaming Hardware monitor nvidia g-sync tn XB280HK News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 03:51:29 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28576 at Syber’s Upcoming Vapor Extreme Gaming Console Packs Nvidia’s GTX 980 GPU <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Syber Vapor Extreme" title="Syber Vapor Extreme" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Runs Windows 8.1 but boots straight into Steam’s Big Picture Mode</h3> <p>Syber, a division of California-based boutique system builder CyberPowerPC, has announced an <strong>Nvidia GeForce GTX 980-packing gaming PC that boots directly into Steam’s Big Picture Mode</strong>. The Syber Vapor Extreme, as the machine is called, is not an altogether new product, but the latest addition to an <a href="" target="_blank">upcoming line of Windows 8.1-based gaming consoles the company unveiled at E3 2014 back in June. </a></p> <p>If it isn’t already apparent from its “Extreme” moniker, this particular product is going to be the most powerful member of Syber’s upcoming Vapor family of Windows-based gaming consoles — devices that would have almost certainly hit the market as Steam Machines had that platform not been <a href="" target="_blank">delayed by Valve</a>. Since we’ve already covered the other two SKUs in the Vapor line, we are going to limit ourselves to the Vapor Extreme here. </p> <p>Inside the 36-lb Vapor Extreme you will find a 4.0GHz Intel Core i7-4790K processor, 8GB of RAM, Nvidia GTX 980 with 4GB of DDR5 VRAM, 1TB SATA III hard drive, one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 port, HDMI port, DVI-D port, Gigabit Ethernet, and 802.11ac/g/n. It will come with a 450W power supply, Logitech F710 wireless gamepad and a wireless keyboard with touchpad.</p> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">$1,500 Vapor Extreme</a> is listed as “coming soon” on Syber’s website. However, the two other SKUs in this line of SteamOS-ready machines, the <a href="" target="_blank">$700 Vapor I</a> and the <a href=";qid=1411342785&amp;sr=8-2&amp;keywords=syber+vapor" target="_blank">$600 Vapor A</a>,&nbsp; are both available for pre-order now and should begin shipping in October.</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> cyberpowerpc Gaming geforce gtx 980 Steam Big Picture Mode steam machine steamos syber vapor extreme Valve vapor a vapor i windows 8.1 News Sun, 21 Sep 2014 23:44:52 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28575 at Asus Rolls Out Overclocked and Custom Cooled Strix GTX 980 and GTX 970 Cards <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_strix_gtx_980.jpg" alt="Asus Strix GTX 980" title="Asus Strix GTX 980" width="228" height="205" style="float: right;" />Cooler and quieter than reference</h3> <p>Are you of the opinion that speed limits are more like suggestions than enforced rules? Do you believe reference designs are for suckers? If you answered yes to one or both questions, you might be interested in the new <strong>Strix GTX 980 and Strix GTX 970 graphics cards from Asus</strong>. Both of these <a href="">Maxwell-powered</a> parts sport factory overclocks and custom cooling solutions that are supposedly 30 percent quieter than Nvidia's reference cooler.</p> <p>As Asus is prone to do, it outfitted its new cards with its Digi+ voltage-regulator module (VRM) technology and Super Alloy Power components -- fancy terms for higher end components intended to increase durability and cooling. Both cards also feature a DisplayPort interface to support gaming at up to 4K Ultra HD.</p> <p>The Strix GTX 980 is overclocked to 1279MHz, up from 1126MHz, and the Strix GTX 970 is goosed to 1253MHz, up from 1050MHz. Both sport 4GB of GDDR5 memory that runs at boosted speeds of up to 7010MHz, which is essentially reference.</p> <p>With regards to cooling, the cards use Asus' DirectCU II cooling technology that consists of 10mm heat pipes capable of transporting 40 percent more heat away from the GPU. The design also offers 220 percent more heat dissipation. <a href="" target="_blank">According to Asus</a>, the cards run 30 percent cooler and 3x quieter than reference.</p> <p>Both cards should be available today. At the time of this writing, Newegg shows the Strix 970 as out of stock and priced at $340 (plus $6.31 shipping); there's no listing yet for the Strix 980.</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> asus Build a PC Gaming graphics card Hardware strix gtx 970 strix gtx 980 Video Card News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:58:35 +0000 Paul Lilly 28572 at Turtle Beach Launches Ear Force Z60, Claims First PC Gaming Headset with DTS Headphone:X 7.1 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/turtle_beach_ear_force_z60.jpg" alt="Turtle Beach Ear Force Z60" title="Turtle Beach Ear Force Z60" width="228" height="192" style="float: right;" />Now available in stores</h3> <p>Turtle Beach hasn't forgotten about PC gamers. In fact, <strong>Turtle Beach just announced the availability of its Ear Force Z60 PC gaming headset</strong> that was first unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this year in Las Vegas. According to Turtle Beach, the Ear Force Z60 is the first and only PC gaming headset to utilize the new DTS Headphone:X 7.1 surround sound.</p> <p>DTS Headphone:X is supposed to make games, movies, and music sound better over headphones by enabling discrete control over speaker position and angles. Turtle Beach said it created audio presets using DTS Headphone:X for more realistic sound. How so?</p> <p>"Most surround sound mixes put the center channel about eight feet in front of the listener perceptually, which is the default for TV and film because the dialogue is coming from the screen," <a href=";t=20850" target="_blank">Turtle Beach explains</a>. "With a first person shooter and many other game genres, much of the center channel audio comes from the player's character for example the sound of the player’s feet walking in the snow, their inbound radio, and the sound of spent cartridges being ejected from their gun. Using DTS Headphone:X, the audio engineers at Turtle Beach created gaming presets that pull the center channel in towards the players' midsection to make the placement of those sounds more realistic."</p> <p>The Ear Force Z60 boasts large 60mm speakers. It also features an inline control unit to adjust chat and game audio individually, surround sound modes, and microphone mute.</p> <p>You can purchase the Ear Force Z60 now for <a href="" target="_blank">$120 MSRP</a>.</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> audio ear force z60 Gaming Hardware headphone:x 7.1 Peripherals Sound turtle beach News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:16:58 +0000 Paul Lilly 28571 at