News en Intel Eyes Real Time Analytics with New Xeon Processor E7 v3 CPU Line <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/intel_xeon_e7_v3.jpg" alt="Intel Xeon E7 v3" title="Intel Xeon E7 v3" width="228" height="154" style="float: right;" />Will 18 cores suffice?</h3> <p>We've seen a lot of action in the micro server market as of late, but lest anyone forget, there's still a need for servers on the other end of the spectrum, ones that deal with machine learning, real-time data analytics, and other mission critical tasks suitable for scale-out data centers. It's that market <strong>Intel is targeting with its new Xeon E7 v3 product line</strong> consisting of a dozen different processors.</p> <p>The Xeon E7 v3 product family consists of chips with up to 18 physical cores with Hyper Threading (for 36 threads), up 45MB of last level cache, and clockspeeds ranging from 1.9GHz to 3.4GHz. That represents a 20 percent increase in cores compared to the previous generation Xeon family, and combined with the other upgrades, results in up to 70 percent more decision support analytic sessions per hour, Intel claims.</p> <p>Intel's newest Xeon processors are serious workhorses designed to compete with RISC alternatives. According to Intel, it's Xeon E7 v3 family delivers up to 10 times more performance per dollar while delivering up to an 85 percent lower total cost of ownership compared to RISC solutions, claims it makes based on reducing the cost of hardware costs and power and cooling.</p> <p>Hardware partners have already pounced on the new chips, with 17 system manufacturers around the globe starting to announce platforms based on Intel's Xeon E7 v3 product family. The chips themselves range in cost from $1,224 to $7,175 in 1,000-tray quantities, meaning that retail costs will be a bit higher.</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> cpu E7-4800 v3 E7-8800 v3 Hardware intel processor xeon News Wed, 06 May 2015 17:00:05 +0000 Paul Lilly 29832 at Oculus Rift Will Ship to Consumers in First Quarter of 2016 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/oculus_rift_5.jpg" alt="Oculus Rift" title="Oculus Rift" width="228" height="180" style="float: right;" />At long last, a release date!</h3> <p>It's been over two years since Oculus Rift captured the hearts and imagination (and over $2.4 million) of backers willing to pledge support for something billed as the "the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games." There's been a lot of movement in the VR space since then, as well as some skepticism (<a href="">and anger</a>) after <a href="">Facebook acquired Oculus</a> for $2 billion -- the idea of Candy Crush VR just didn't seem appealing to many folks. But the excitement remained, and after all this time, we finally have a launch date. <strong>Oculus Rift will be shipping to consumers in the first quarter of next year</strong>, Oculus VR announced today.</p> <p>In the coming weeks, Oculus VR will reveal more information about the final hardware, software, input, and even some unannounced made-for-VR games and experiences coming to Oculus Rift. As for all the technical specifications, those will be revealed next week.</p> <p>"Virtual reality is going to transform gaming, film, entertainment, communication, and much more," Oculus VR said in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p> <p>There have been several iterations of the Oculus Rift since it was announced, the most recent of which is dubbed Crescent Bay. It brought about <a href="">numerous improvements</a> over the Development Kit 2 model, including a higher resolution display (unspecified, though DK2 rocked a Full HD 1080p resolution, or 960x1080 per eye), 360-degree head tracking, expanded positional tracking volume, improved weight and ergonomics, integrated audio, and more.</p> <p>It's a much more crowded field now than it was several years ago. Google, HTC, LG, Samsung, and Sony all have skin in the VR game, and there are a handful of up-and-comers as well. However, there's been so much hype and positive impressions posted about Oculus Rift that it's likely to see a flurry of pre-orders later this 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> games Hardware oculus rift Peripherals virtual reality vr News Wed, 06 May 2015 16:29:39 +0000 Paul Lilly 29831 at EVGA Bundles Witcher 3 and Arkham Knight with GeForce GTX 980 and 970 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/witcher_batman.jpg" alt="Witcher and Batman" title="Witcher and Batman" width="228" height="183" style="float: right;" />Free games, anyone?</h3> <p>We have to hand it to graphics cards players -- they've been pretty good about bundling high-end titles with their cards over the last couple of years. That doesn't just apply to Nvidia and AMD, but their hardware partners as well. Case in point, <strong>EVGA today announced that for a limited time, qualifying GeForce GTX 980 and GeForce 970 graphics cards will be eligible to receive The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Batman: Arkham Knight</strong>.</p> <p>As always with these sorts of promotions, they apply to specific SKUs. You also must make your purchase either direct from EVGA's website or a participating etailer. You can find a list of qualifying cards <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>, along with instructions on how to obtain and redeem your free game codes. Additionally, you can find a list of <a href="" target="_blank">participating etailers here</a>, just make sure to double check the model number.</p> <p>The offer is good for purchases made on or after today, May 5th, and while supplies last. And if you're not looking to jump up to a GTX 980 or GTX 970, you can still score The Witcher 3 with the purchase of a GeForce GTX 960, details of which can be found <a href="" target="_blank">here</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> Batman: Arkham Knight Build a PC evga games geforce gtx 970 geforce gtx 980 graphics card Hardware the witcher 3: wild hunt Video Card News Tue, 05 May 2015 20:35:50 +0000 Paul Lilly 29829 at Microsoft Releases Surface 3 Tablet, Offers Up to $150 Trade-In for Older Models <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/surface_3_1.jpg" alt="Surface 3" title="Surface 3" width="228" height="116" style="float: right;" />A shiney new Surface</h3> <p><strong>Surface 3 (non-Pro) is Microsoft's thinnest and lightest Surface tablet ever, and it's now available to purchase in the U.S.</strong> and several other territories, including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. Pricing starts at $499, though you can knock up to $150 off the cost by trading in your Surface 2 or Surface RT, so long as it's in working order.</p> <p>The amount you get in trade-in depends on which model you're trading in. All working Surface RT slates command $100 in trade-in value, regardless of whether they're equipped with 32GB or 64GB of storage. And all Surface RT models go for $150. Microsoft's offer doesn't increase if you include a Type Cover or Type Keyboard, so you're better off hawking those on eBay or Craigslist.</p> <p>Surface 3 is a toned down version of the Surface 3 Pro. It's more tablet than laptop, whereas you could argue the reverse for the latter (at least when pairing it with a keyboard). The models that are available now include:</p> <ul> <li>Surface 3 w/ 2GB RAM, 64GB storage, Wi-Fi ($499)</li> <li>Surface 3 w/ 4GB RAM, 128GB storage, Wi-Fi ($599)</li> </ul> <p>Surface 3 features a 10.8-inch display with a Full HD 1080p resolution, 3-position kickstand, quad-core Intel Atom processor, full-size USB 3.0 port, mini DisplayPort, microSD card reader, headset jack, cover port, micro USB charging port, and Windows 8.1. Models with 4G LTE connectivity baked in are "coming soon," with no mention of price just yet.</p> <p>For the sake of comparison, the Surface Pro 3 has a 12-inch display with a 2160x1440 resolution, multi-position kickstand, Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processor options, the same collection of inputs/outputs (save for the micro USB charging port), and Windows 8.1 pro. Battery life is slightly less at 9 hours versus 10 hours.</p> <p>If you're a student, parent of a student, or faculty member, you can save 10 percent by shopping through Microsoft's <a href=";Icid=EDU_pdp_offer%20text_082214" target="_blank">Education Store</a>. For everyone else, you can <a href="" target="_blank">go here</a> to order a Surface 3 at regular pricing. Trade-in site is <a href="" target="_blank">found here</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 microsoft slate Surface 3 tablet News Tue, 05 May 2015 16:22:20 +0000 Paul Lilly 29828 at Mushkin Expands Reactor Series SSD Capacity Options <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/mushkin_reactor_0.jpg" alt="Mushkin Reactor" title="Mushkin Reactor" width="228" height="101" style="float: right;" />New capacities and a new contest</h3> <p><strong>Mushkin seems awfully excited about the expansion of its Reactor Series solid state drive line</strong>, which in addition to its existing 1TB capacity option, will soon be made available in 256GB and 512GB capacities. To celebrate the new SKUs and perhaps earn some street cred in the crowded SSD market, Mushkin is also holding a contest where the main prize is a Mushkin Extreme Gaming PC.</p> <p>First let's talk about the drives. The Reactor SSD family uses Silicon Motion's SM2246EN controller and is equipped with a SATA 6Gbps interface. Rated sequential read and write speeds are up to 560MB/s and 460MB/s, respectively, along with up to 74,000 IOPS for random 4K reads and up to 76,000 IOPS for random 4K writes. Note that those are the performance figures for the 1TB capacity -- Mushkin hasn't said whether the 256GB and 512GB drives will boast the same metrics.</p> <p>As far as the 1TB drive goes, it's reasonably priced on <a href=";DEPA=0&amp;Order=BESTMATCH&amp;Description=mushkin+REACTOR&amp;N=-1&amp;isNodeId=1" target="_blank">Newegg at $340</a>, or 34 cents per gigabyte. Pricing for the lower capacity drives hasn't yet been announced.</p> <p>Now, about that contest.</p> <p>"To celebrate the expansion of our very popular Reactor SSD starting May 1, 2015, gaming fans can enter our Ghost Recon Phantoms Sweepstakes for a chance to win up a custom built Mushkin Extreme Gaming PC and much more," said Nicolas Villalobos, Director of Global Marketing at Mushkin Inc. "As part of the celebration fans who purchase select Mushkin products through will also receive a Ghost Recon Phantoms $30 Value game code – free"</p> <p>There are several prizes up for grabs, including various gaming gear from Razer and DXRACER. You can read the <a href="" target="_blank">official rules here</a> and enter for a <a href="" target="_blank">chance to win here</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> Build a PC Hardware mushkin Reactor solid state drive ssd storage News Tue, 05 May 2015 15:51:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 29827 at Microsoft Expands Availability of Office 2016 to General Public <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/office_2016.jpg" alt="Office 2016" title="Office 2016" width="228" height="147" style="float: right;" />Getting situated in a new Office</h3> <p>Make no mistake, Microsoft's head (and heart) is in the cloud, hence the growing number of subscription-based services. But if you're more grounded to the desktop, fear not, the Redmond giant hasn't forgotten about you. In fact, <strong>Microsoft today expanded the availability of its Office 2016 Preview</strong> suite as it seeks feedback from a broader audience leading up to the software's general availability this fall.</p> <p>Office 2016 introduces several changes and improvements to the productivity suite. Starting with Word, Microsoft is bringing co-authoring capabilities to Office 2016. When you and your team are online, you'll be also to what other editors are working on and what changes they're making, and see it in real-time.</p> <p>Individual applications will get smarter the more you use them, too.</p> <p>"Applications will learn as you work, taking advantage of subtle cues and clues to help you stay on task and get more out of Office," Microsoft explained in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p> <p>There's a new search tool called "Tell Me" available in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel that brings up commands you need just by typing what you want to do. In addition, the suite introduces Clutter, a new Exchange feature that lights up in OUtlook and uses machine learning to analyze your email patters and de-clutter your inbox. It does this by moving lower priority messages into a dedicated Clutter folder.</p> <p>You can grab the Office 2016 Preview by <a href="" target="_blank">going here</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> microsoft Office 2016 Software News Mon, 04 May 2015 18:08:51 +0000 Paul Lilly 29825 at Microsoft CFO Discusses Windows as a Service Strategy <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/microsoft_way_0.jpg" alt="Microsoft Way" title="Microsoft Way" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Reacting to declining Windows sales</h3> <p>Microsoft surprised a lot of folks when it announced that Windows 10 would be a <a href="">free upgrade</a> for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users, especially after explaining that the new operating system was such a departure over previous versions that it warranted <a href="">skipping a version number</a>. As many speculated, the free upgrade is part of <strong>Microsoft's strategy of shifting to Windows as a service. Microsoft CFO Amy Hood talked a little about the shift</strong> and where the company is headed.</p> <p>Transitioning to a Windows as a service business model essentially means that Microsoft will be more focused on generating revenue from search, apps, and cloud-based subscription services that tie into the operation system. But why now? As Hood explained during a meeting with Wall Street analysts last week, as consumer PC shipments weakened, so did Microsoft's Windows sales.</p> <p>"We adjusted our approach in terms of SKU strategy, making sub 9-in. devices free," said Hood, according to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>ComputerWorld</em></a>. "We added new pricing strategy for opening price point devices. And we had programs to drive genuine Windows attach in high-piracy markets."</p> <p>Microsoft hopes that by reducing and in some cases eliminating the cost of Windows of licenses, it will drive up device sales, creating a larger customer base for its services and ads. With the introduction of Windows 10, Microsoft will be taking a big step in that direction.</p> <p>Surprisingly enough, Bing is one reason why Microsoft can afford to gamble on this strategy. The revenue from Bing advertising, which has increased, has mostly made up for declining revenue of Windows licenses. PC gaming revenue also helped in that regard, just to a lesser degree.</p> <p>There's still the question of whether Microsoft's Windows as a service strategy means it will transition to a subscription cost of Windows. That could still be in the cards, though it's worth noting Hood didn't talk about or hint at such a model, and instead focused on revenue from tie-in services.</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 operating system OS Software Windows Windows as a Service News Mon, 04 May 2015 15:04:57 +0000 Paul Lilly 29824 at Microsoft Acquires Surface Pen Technology from Israeli Firm N-trig <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Surface Pen" title="Surface Pen" width="228" height="94" style="float: right;" />Rumors of a deal between the two companies first began to swirl in February</h3> <p>For many Surface users, the <strong>Surface Pen is critical to the whole device experience</strong>. It is one of the things that sets Microsoft’s device apart from most other tablets on the market. And who else would know this better than Microsoft itself? The Redmond-based tech giant has acquired the technology behind the digital pen from Israeli firm N-trig.</p> <p>“Today we are excited to have acquired advanced digital pen technology from N-trig Ltd., with whom we’ve partnered closely for several years,” <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft announced</a> Friday. “We can’t wait to show you what we’ll deliver for our Surface Fans in the future. Digital pens have a ways to go to be as good as pen and paper on some dimensions, and we’ll get there. But more importantly, adding the ability to capture and share the work you do with a digital pen opens up possibilities that traditional pen and paper just can’t match. Today’s investment is another step that will let us push that innovation forward.”</p> <p>A deal between the two was first rumored in February, when Israeli media outlet Calcalist claimed Microsoft had bought N-trig for a <a href="" target="_blank">whopping $200 million</a>. Late last month, however, the venerable <a href="" target="_blank">Wall Street Journal</a> entered the scene and brought that figure down to $30 million. It’s not clear which — if any — of those figures is accurate.</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> digital pen microsoft n-trig stylus surface pen News Mon, 04 May 2015 11:16:42 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29823 at Lenovo’s Impossibly Light LaVie Z Laptop is Now Available <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Lenovo LaVie Z" title="Lenovo LaVie Z" width="228" height="186" style="float: right;" />The 13-incher comes in two flavors</h3> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">13-inch LaVie Z notebook</a> that we caught a glimpse of at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show is <a href="" target="_blank">now up for sale</a>. The device has, however, <strong>put on a bit of weight since its unveiling as the “world’s lightest laptop” in January</strong>, and it’s also pricier than expected. But even then it remains a ridiculously light machine at a mere 1.87 pounds.</p> <p>The <a href=";sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNGyDsb6fQ4J0tr4r7tGJz8Iu8cSaA" target="_blank">standard LaVie Z</a> is priced at $1,499.00, and not $1,299.00, as was initially announced. In case you want the <a href=";sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNH8qRdGatFeJqVcB8_WvVwbGfNkIQ" target="_blank">LaVie Z 360</a>&nbsp; — a variant capable of Yoga-like acrobatics — get ready to pay $200 extra. </p> <p>The latter’s 360-degree rotatable screen aside, the two models are identical in terms of specs: 13.3-inch QHD (2560x1440) display, Intel Core i7-5500U processor, integrated graphics, 8GB of RAM, 256GB hard drive, 720p webcam, WiFi 802.11 a/c, Bluetooth 4.0, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI-out and SD card reader.</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> laptop LaVie Z lavie z 360 lenovo yoga News Mon, 04 May 2015 08:05:56 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29822 at SolidRun CuBox-i is a 2-inch Cube with Quad-Core ARM SoC, 4GB of RAM <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Cubox-1 4x4" title="Cubox-1 4x4" width="228" height="192" style="float: right;" />Will come pre-installed with Android and Kodi home-theater software</h3> <p>Around two years back, Israeli company SolidRun launched CuBox-i, a <strong>line of ARM-powered 2-inch cube PCs with a starting price of $45</strong>. It’s now upping the ante on that front with a device it says is the “smallest ARM quad core 4GB mini computer” out there.</p> <p>The new <a href="" target="_blank">CuBox-i 4X4</a> marries a quad-core i.MX6 chip from Freescale with 4GB of DDR3 RAM. While the particular quad-core SoC (system-on-chip) isn’t new to the range, the <a href="" target="_blank">most amount of RAM</a> seen in the current crop of CuBox-1 devices is 2GB. Other specs include two USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, MicroUSB port, eSATA, WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Ethernet, optical audio out, and IR. It will come with Android 4.4 KitKat and Kodi (formerly XBMC) pre-installed, though you’ll be able to install your favorite flavor of Linux should you want to.</p> <p>"The CuBox-i 4X4 module addresses the growing need for increased high capability power efficient fan-less mini-computers," Dr. Atai Ziv, CEO of SolidRun, was quoted as saying in a press release. "Its unique nonmoving parts and passive cooling design increase reliability in various home, city and industrial floor environments targeting multimedia &amp; digital signage, industrial and IoT applications."</p> <p>Quite clearly the CuBox-i 4x4 packs quite a serious punch for such a tiny device (although nowhere near as much as this <a href=",1" target="_blank">bad boy</a>), but how much will it cost? The company’s website has the device listed for pre-order for $169.99, with shipping expected to begin in late May.</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> android cubox-i freescale i.MX6 kodi linux solidrun News Mon, 04 May 2015 07:16:19 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29821 at Microsoft Puts Windows Media Center Out to Pasture <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Windows Media Center" title="Windows Media Center" width="228" height="127" style="float: right;" />Active development ceased in 2009</h3> <p><strong>Windows Media Center hasn’t been part of Microsoft’s plans since at least 2009, when Microsoft disbanded the team behind it and ceased active development</strong>. And the Media Center add-on that has been available for Windows 8 is a paid offering, even though it boasts nothing new over the Windows 7 version. But Microsoft, it seems, has finally had enough.</p> <p>When the Windows 10 Technical Preview first came out in late 2014, some people noticed it was <a href="" target="_blank">possible to get the add-on to work with the new OS by providing a valid Windows 8.1 Media Center Pack product key</a>. This method was, however, fraught with several issues, and Microsoft advised users against adding the software to Windows 10 Technical Preview, saying it “did not intend for you to be able to use a purchased product key on a preview build.” Looks like that was just a mistake, of which there won’t be any repeat.</p> <p>According to ZDNet’s Ed Bott, a Microsoft exec told him during the course of a private conversation at Build that <a href="" target="_blank">there would be no update to Media Center for Windows 10</a>. Nor will the current version be available as an add-on. So, in other words, existing Media Center users will have to bid farewell to the software the moment they upgrade to Windows 10.</p> <p>Seeing as how only a small subset of Windows users ever used it and given the rapid increase in the population of so-called “cord cutters” and “cord nevers”, Microsoft didn’t have much of a choice. Or do you disagree?</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> dvr microsoft recording Software windows 10 Windows Media Center News Mon, 04 May 2015 06:33:54 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29820 at Microsoft’s Age Guessing Algorithm is a Jerk <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/how_old.jpg" alt="How Old" title="How Old" width="228" height="207" style="float: right;" />Let the mid-life crisis begin</h3> <p>Screw this, I'm going on a shopping spree for a convertible sports car and whatever else people buy when they have a midlife crisis. Not that I'm going through one, I'm just a little ticked at <strong>Microsoft's new website that guesses your age and gender when you upload a photo of your mug</strong>. When I tried it out with a recent photo of myself, it got the gender right (hooray!), but overshot my age by 9 years (you dirty little algorithm!).</p> <p>If you upload a group photo, it will tag all the faces it recognizes with age and gender guesses. Over time, the facial recognition technology at work is supposed to improve and make more accurate assumptions, which is good because I'm far from the only one that it basically said, "You look old for your age!" To the tool's credit, it did a much better job with a different set of pics and even correctly guessed my age at the time one of my photos was taken (see thumbnail pic above).</p> <p>You don't need to use your own photo -- you can choose an image from an integrated Bing Image Search and have it guess the age and gender of your favorite celebrity. Scroll through pictures of Adam Levine, for example, and you'll see a variety of ages -- from 29 to 40, based on the ones we tried (he's 36). And with Scarlett Johansson, we saw results ranging from 17 to 34 years old (she's 30). Unfortunately, it doesn't recognize characters like Chewbacca or E.T.</p> <p>This all began as a fun little experiment that a couple of Microsoft engineers toyed with. They were playing with Microsoft's newly released Face detection API and expected around 50 people to respond to the test. The Internet being what it is, over 35,000 users flocked to the site within just a few hours.</p> <p>If you want to give it a whirl yourself and don't mind a potentially bruised ego, head over to <a href="" target="_blank"></a> and let us know how accurate (or inaccurate) it was.</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> age face recognition microsoft News Fri, 01 May 2015 16:24:30 +0000 Paul Lilly 29818 at PC Gamer Creates the E3 for PCs <!--paging_filter--><h3>No gaming system beats the PC</h3> <p>E3, or the Electronic Entertainment Expo, is a show held in downtown Los Angeles that focuses on pretty much all things games. But, if you've ever been to E3 or followed E3 coverage, you'll quickly realize that E3 is all about consoles. Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, all push games for their latest big consoles, and well, the PC is really where things shine. So why is it that the gigantic and technologically superior PC platform doesn't get more of a showing at E3? <a href="">PC Gamer decided to solve that</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u191083/pcgamer_show_big.jpg" width="650" height="459" /></p> <p>Launching at E3 is <a href="">The PC Gaming Show Powered by PC Gamer</a>, which is going to be so crazy and big, you'll ask yourself how come this was never E3 itself. The PC Gaming Show brings together all the best parts of the PC gaming ecosystem, and gives it stage presence at E3. Supported by a whole host of PC gaming related companies, and lead sponsored by AMD, PC Gamer's show is poised to show the entertainment world that nothing beats the PC.</p> <p>"We're living in a golden age of PC gaming, but unlike other platforms the PC has no format holder, no marketing department, and--until now--no event during E3 week purely devoted to it," said Tim Clark, global Editor-in-Chief at PC Gamer. "We think a show like this, which brings together people from every corner of PC gaming to celebrate the exciting things happening, is long overdue. We hope you'll join us, in person or on stream to be part of it."</p> <p>The show will be hosted by Sean "Day[9]" Plott, and the show will feature appearances by Dean Hall of DayZ fame, Cliff Bleszinki of Boss Key Productions, and developers from studios including Blizzard, Bohemia Interactive, Cloud Imperium Games, Tripwire Interactive</p> <p>We at <em>Maximum PC</em> are thrilled to support this event. There's truly no better gaming platform, and that's coming from someone who owns all the latest consoles. The performance and utility of a PC is unmatched, and at any given time, you can change or upgrade as your needs and wants changes. We love the PC and we're super happy to support the show.</p> E3 PC Gamer pc gaming show News Thu, 30 Apr 2015 23:12:15 +0000 Tuan Nguyen 29816 at Unreal Engine 4 Adds Support for SteamVR <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/htc_vive.jpg" alt="HTC Vive" title="HTC Vive" width="228" height="150" style="float: right;" />Let's get virtual</h3> <p>The value proposition of using Epic Games' Unreal Engine keeps getting better. Just under two months ago, Epic ditched the $19 per month subscription free, opting instead to give budding developers <a href="">free and unfettered access</a> to its complete C++ source code hosted in GitHub while continuing to collect a 5 percent royalty on gross revenue after the $3,000 per project. Now <strong>Epic is adding support for SteamVR in Unreal Engine 4</strong>, the company announced today.</p> <p>Support for SteamVR will roll out in next week's first preview release of Unreal Engine 4.8, thereby giving developers the tools they need to create expansive virtual reality environments and experiences. SteamVR is being completely integrated into UE4 across Blueprint visual scripting and native code, which allows projects to be built without dependency on programmer support.</p> <p>This is entirely new ground for UE4 -- it already has the tools to support platforms like Oculus Rift, Samsung's Gear VR, and Sony's Project Morpheus. But SteamVR is a different beast. It allows for a greater range of motion that extends to about the size of a small room. By comparison, Rift and Morpheus are limited to just a few steps, at best.</p> <p>"This technology is incredibly freeing," said Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic. "There is a magical sense of immersion in walking around a VR space and directly interacting with it."</p> <p>The HTC Vive Developer Edition kit (headset, two single-handed controllers, and tracking system) that's built to take advantage of SteamVR will be out in spring of this 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> Epic Games Software steamvr unreal engine 4 Valve virtual reality vr News Thu, 30 Apr 2015 19:14:37 +0000 Paul Lilly 29815 at Razer Seiren Digital Microphone Goes Pro, Now Available to Pre-Order <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/razer_seiren_pro.jpg" alt="Razer Seiren Pro" title="Razer Seiren Pro" width="228" height="186" style="float: right;" />Now with XLR recording and a high-pass filter</h3> <p>Razer's best known for its line of PC gaming peripherals, especially mice, though it's been branching out into several different directions through the years, including audio recording. The company tossed its hat into the audio recording ring last December with its <a href="">Seiren digital microphone</a>. Now here we are a little more than four months later and <strong>Razer is announcing its Seiren Pro model</strong>, an upgraded version of the original.</p> <p>The Seiren Pro adds XLR connectivity for plugging directly into mixing boards and cameras, along with being able to chain multiple microphones and instruments while making on-the-fly adjustments during live sessions. Like the original model, the Pro version also supports USB.</p> <p>"With the success of YouTube, Twitch and the likes, there is a greater demand for high-fidelity recording equipment than ever before," says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. "Our second condenser microphone, the Razer Seirēn Pro, delivers what video game streamers are looking for and provides great value to YouTubers, musicians and anyone looking to capture sound clearly."</p> <p>Razer also added a high-pass filter that's supposed to remove low-end ambient noises. If you're in a recording environment that's susceptible to hums, rumbles, traffic, wind, and things of that nature, this could be the model you've been waiting for.</p> <p>Pricing for the Seiren Pro is $250. There's also a Shock Mount accessory accessory available for $50 and a Pop Filter that also runs $50, or a bundle that includes everything for $300.</p> <p>It's likely the Seiren/Seiren Pro is a redesigned and rebranded Blue Yeti, the latter of which are a little cheaper. However, there are some subtle differences, mostly aesthetic. Here's a decent YouTube video that compares the original to a Yeti:</p> <p><iframe src="" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Seiren Pro is available to pre-order</a> now and will ship on May 8.</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 microphone Peripherals razer Seiren Pro News Thu, 30 Apr 2015 18:31:57 +0000 Paul Lilly 29814 at