Sunday October 16th, 2016
| Purchasing a new video game used to be simple. You’d go down to the local game store, slam sixty dollars on the counter, and bring home your brand new copy of Call of Battlefallverwatch 7: Multiversal Warfare. But as Willie Nelson once said, “the times they are a-changin.”
Now, each new big release boasts a million different collector’s editions with pre-order bonuses that barely fit inside the box, and they typically retail for a hundred dollars or more. Meanwhile, logging on to Steam or another digital distribution site gives you a chance of purchasing a AAA title for well below the sixty-dollar price point. Then there’s the indie-market, which has begun to offer innovative games for around ten to twenty dollars. It seems like pricing is becoming less and less standard as the gaming landscape becomes more and more complex.
Who sets these prices and, if the sixty-dollar game is really on its way out, what is preventing them from charging us even more in the future? To answer that, we have to examine why games were priced at sixty dollars to begin with.
And to understand that, we first have to look at the economics of video game retail.
Source: Game Crate
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 5:25 PM
Wednesday September 28th, 2016
| Hell yeah.
We need to learn a lesson about needless consumerism from this auto repair shop in Gdansk, Poland. Because it still uses a Commodore 64 to run its operations. Yes, the same Commodore 64 released 34 years ago that clocked in at 1 MHz and had 64 kilobytes of RAM. It came out in 1982, was discontinued in 1994, but it’s still used to run a freaking company in 2016. That’s awesome.
To be sure, small businesses around the world often use technology that’s a bit more outdated than what the rest of us use in our daily lives but ****, flexing a Commodore 64 for work in a time when babies are given smartphones before pacifiers is pretty **** bad ***.
Here’s what Commodore USA’s Facebook page wrote regarding the computer:
This C64C used by a small auto repair shop for balancing driveshafts has been working non-stop for over 25 years! And despite surviving a flood it is still going...I know where I’m going if my car ever breaks down in Poland.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 9:16 PM
Wednesday September 7th, 2016
| Nvidia's done a good job so far of fleshing out its high-end and mid-range Pascal offerings, but what about gamers on a tighter budget? That's where the GeForce GTX 1050 will likely come into play. Word on the web is that it's bound for an October release with a spec sheet that's similar to Nvidia's previous generation GeForce GTX 950.
That's coming from the folks at Benchlife, a Chinese-language website that posted a CPU-Z screenshot of the card's specs. Assuming it's the real deal, the GTX 1050 will sport a GP107 GPU with 768 CUDA cores. Before we get into the other specs, let's have a look at the Pascal parts that are already out there.
According to the CPU-Z screenshot, the GeForce GTX 1050 will have up to 4GB of GDDR5 memory on a 128-bit wide bus. It will also feature 1316MHz (base) and 1380MHz (boost) clockspeeds, a 7Gbps memory clock, a texture fill rate of 84.2 GTexel/s, and 112.1GB/s of memory bandwidth.
- Titan X: GP102 (3,584 CUDA cores @ 1417MHz, 384-bit memory interface)
- GTX 1080: GP104 (2,560 CUDA cores @ 1607MHz, 256-bit memory interface)
- GTX 1070: GP104 (1,920 CUDA cores @ 1506MHz, 256-bit memory interface)
- GTX 1060 6GB: GP106 (1,280 CUDA cores @ 1506MHz, 192-bit memory interface)
- GTX 1060 3GB: GP106 (1,152 CUDA cores @ 1506MHz, 192-bit memory interface)
The CUDA count is the same as the GeForce GTX 950, but clockspeeds are faster—the GTX 950 has base and boost clocks of 1,024MHz and 1,188MHz, respectively, along with a 6,600 Gbps memory clock, 49.2 GTexel/s texture fill rate, and 105.6GB/s memory bandwidth.
In short, the GeForce GTX 1050 is a faster clocked GeForce GTX 950 with an upgraded GPU built on a 16nm manufacturing process. It will have a lower TDP at 75W compared to 90W, and won't require a PCI-E power cable, unless a third party deviates from the reference design.
There's no word on pricing, but based on the GTX 1060 3GB, we expect the GTX 1050 to target the $150 market, give or take.
Source: PC Gamer
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 1:09 PM
Wednesday August 31st, 2016
| It weighs 17 pounds, or around 8 kilograms -- a serious bit of heft, as we can attest from getting our hands on it at IFA here in Berlin.
It's the world's first laptop with a curved screen...not to mention two (2) GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs and a built-in mechanical keyboard.
It requires two (2) power supplies to run, and needs five (5) system fans and eight (8) heatpipes to stay cool. It holds up to 64GB of memory and five (5) storage drives at a time.
There's a Tobii eye-tracking camera so you can aim at foes just by looking at them. (Supported ones, anyhow.)
Oh, and this laptop has four (4) speakers and two (2) subwoofers. So you can blast while you blast, of course.
The curved screen measures 21 inches diagonally. (Typically, laptops top out at 17 or 18 inches). It's an Nvidia G-Sync screen, too.
The mechanical keyboard uses Cherry MX switches and has an RGB LED under each and every key...because who doesn't like colors?
Lastly, I'd like to bookend this article by reminding you: The Predator 21 X weighs 17 pounds.
In short, it's the most ridiculous gaming laptop ever conceived. It's more powerful than our CNET Future-Proof VR Gaming Desktop, and probably weighs as much. It likely costs a good deal more. Acer's Europe head told CNET's Roger Cheng that it will fetch a price north of $5,000 (£3,820 or AU£6,661).
We need one in the CNET offices yesterday. But you'll have to wait until the first quarter of 2017 to own one.
Start packing away those pennies, people.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 2:59 PM
Tuesday August 30th, 2016
| Intel today officially took the wraps off Kaby Lake, its 7th generation Core processor architecture that slides in between Skylake (out now) and Cannonlake (due out in 2017).
One of the interesting things about Kaby Lake is that it throws a wrench into Intel's "tick-tock" release cadence that's guided its processor release for nearly a decade. So-called "ticks" are new process nodes while "tocks" represent a brand new architecture on the same node. So for example:
Under normal circumstances, Intel's 10nm Cannonlake architecture would have debuted next, but Cannonlake isn't due to arrive until late 2017. In the meantime, we have Kaby Lake, another 14nm architecture and the a change to Intel's tick-tock cycle. The new pattern (for now) will be Process, Architecture, Optimization, with Kaby Lake being the "Optimization" for the 14nm node. Which is probably a better sequence than "hickory-dickory-dock."
- 32nm Westmere (tick)
- 32nm Sandy Bridge (tock)
- 22nm Ivy Bridge (tick)
- 22nm Haswell (tock)
- 14nm Broadwell (tick)
- 14nm Skylake (tock)
Either way, Kaby Lake gets an official unveiling today with Intel promising up to 12 percent faster productivity performance and up to 19 percent faster web performance compared to Skylake. It's also pushing Kaby Lake as the appropriate choice for creating and editing 4K content, noting that it has the power to do such things up to 15 times faster than a 5-year-old PC (though why anyone would attempt 4K editing on a 2011 PC is beyond us).
Before you start making plans to upgrade your desktop, take a breath and relax. Mobile users get first dibs on Kaby Lake. "We are incredibly excited about the strong partnership with our OEM customers and expect more than 100 different 2-in-1s and laptops powered by 7th Gen Intel Core to be available starting in September through this holiday season. We will share more on the rest of the 7th Gen Intel Core family for desktops and enterprise PCs early next year," Intel said.
Today's launch consist of half a dozen processors split equally between its Y-series for low-power systems such as 2-in-1 devices, and its U-series for meatier laptops.
Looking ahead to what OEMs will do with these processors, Intel says to expect thinner convertibles measuring 10mm, slimmer clamshell laptops checking in at under 10mm, and fanless detachables with waistlines less than 7mm.
Intel also promises better gaming performance from the upcoming crop of mobile products. If we're again comparing to a 5-year-old PC, Intel claims a three-fold improvement in games like Overwatch. Intel bases that metric on pitting a Core i5-7200U against a Core i5-2467M in 3DMark's Cloud Gate test. Not that anyone would actually try gaming on an i5-2467M these days.
How things really fare is something we'll explore as Kaby Lake trickles into retail.
Source: PC Gamer
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 2:32 PM
| Samsung announced three new curved gaming monitors that employ the same quantum dot technology found in its TV lineup. They include the CFG70 available in 24-inch and 27-inch models, and the CF791 available in a larger 34-inch model.
Quantum dots are nano-sized particles that display different colored light based on their diameter. Displays using quantum dot technology are hyped to rival the quality of OLED panels, though current generation quantum dot solutions still rely on an LED backlight. Even so, Samsung claims both new monitor series offer up vivid and crisp colors while requiring less energy.
"Both monitors express brilliant color across a 125 percent sRGB spectrum, giving greater depth to blacks and sharpening color intricacies. These color distinctions increase the nuances of game play and far surpass display offerings available in conventional monitors," Samsung says. Samsung plays up the immersion factor due to the curvature of both monitor series, which for the CF791 is rated at 1,500R and for the CFG70 is rated at 1,800R.
The two CFG70 monitors both offer a 1920x1080 resolution with a 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time. They also have height adjustable stands that support tilt, swivel, and pivot. Why anyone would want to pivot a curved display into portrait mode is a different matter. Samsung's CF791 boasts a 3440x1440 resolution with a 100Hz refresh rate and 4ms response time. Its stand is height and tilt adjustable, but doesn't support swivel or pivot.
All three models have a single DisplayPort and two HDMI ports, as well as a headphone jack. Only the CF791 has built-in speakers (a pair of 7W cans) and a two-port USB hub. All three displays also support variable refresh rates via FreeSync.
Pricing for the CFG70 is $399 for the 24-inch model and $499 for the 27-inch SKU, while the CF791 costs $999. All three will be available in the fourth quarter.
Source: PC Gamer
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 2:29 PM
| While it had been rumored that GDDR6 memory would end up on graphics cards released next year, it looks like we'll have to wait a little bit longer, at least from Samsung's vantage point. Samsung announced at ISCA 2016 in Seoul, Korea, that graphics cards wielding the next generation memory standard won't come out until 2018, according to multiple reports.
Digital Trends was in attendance at the convention and says that one of the slides Samsung presented indicated that GDDR6 will offer more than 14Gbps (gigabits per second) of bandwidth. That trumps the up to 12Gbps offered by Micron's GDDR5X memory chips featured on Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080, and of course it's more than the 10Gbps offered by standard GDDR5 memory.
On a 256-bit bus, GDDR6 could push up to 448GB/s (gigabytes per second), and up to 672GB/s on a 384-bit bus. As a point of reference, the aforementioned GTX 1080 pumps 320GB/s by way of a 256-bit wide bus and the Titan X does 480GB/s on a 384-bit bus. HBM2 and HBM3 will offer even more bandwidth, but the cost is higher and GDDR6 will likely find its way into many graphics cards.
The added bandwidth and presumably larger amounts of onboard memory could help with higher resolution gaming and the push for VR content in future generation graphics cards. In addition to more bandwidth, Samsung is focusing on reducing power consumption. Exactly to what extent isn't yet known, though GDDR5 was able to achieve up to a 60 percent gain in power efficiency compared to GDDR4.
Source: PC Gamer
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 7:40 AM
Monday August 22nd, 2016
| By: Anthony Garreffa
HBM3 is being worked on by SK Hynix and Samsung and will offer up to 64GB VRAM at higher speeds than HBM2, but a low-cost version of HBM is also in the works, which will feature less bandwidth but a lower cost point than HBM1 and HBM2.
The new low-cost HBM will feature increased pin speeds, from the 2Gbps on HBM2 to around 3Gbps on the new low-cost HBM while the memory bandwidth shifts from 256GB/sec per DRAM stack, to around 200GB/sec per stack. This means the upcoming low-cost HBM could reach the mass market, so we could be looking at HBM-powered notebooks and consumer graphics cards, more so than just the three from AMD that we have now in the Radeon R9 Fury X, Radeon R9 Fury and R9 Nano graphics cards.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 8:08 AM
Thursday August 18th, 2016
| AMD said its Summit Ridge CPU, aimed at high-performance desktops, will pack 8 cores and feature simultaneous multi-threading technology to give it 16 threads of processing power. Gone are the shared, clustered multi-thread cores of the previous Bulldozer and Piledriver designs—Zen’s cores are stand-alone cores with SMT. To prove that Zen has the right stuff, AMD officials on Wednesday night demonstrated before a crowd of reporters and analysts that an 8-core Zen could run just as fast as Intel’s newest 8-core consumer Core i7 chip.
Source: PC World
Posted By FunkZ @ 12:04 PM
Wednesday August 17th, 2016
| The PC industry's glory days, when people snapped up new computers powered by steadily faster chips, are over. But Intel thinks its newest PC processor will get some hearts racing in a few months.
At its Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco on Tuesday, Intel Chief Executive Brian Krzanich showed PCs powered by a seventh-generation Core processor in PCs handling some demanding chores -- editing high-resolution 4K GoPro video and playing a hot new first-person shooter game, Overwatch.
It's "the highest performance CPU Intel has ever built. It'll make rich experiences available to everyone," Krzanich said. "We're shipping seventh-generation Core already to our PC partners and will launch devices to consumers this fall."
The seventh-generation Core processor, code-named Kaby Lake, is the first PC chip to emerge since Intel slowed its "tick-tock" pace of processor development. It previously introduced new chip designs and new manufacturing technology in alternating years, but Kaby Lake just refines an existing design on an existing manufacturing process.
The slower cadence isn't the only trouble for Intel. The steady improvement in processor clock speeds has largely stalled, PC sales are shrinking and consumers have flocked to smartphones powered by other companies' chips. But Krzanich is optimistic about Moore's Law, the observation named after Intel co-founder Gordon Moore that the number of electronic components on a chip doubles every two years.
"Moore's Law is far from dead," Krzanich said.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 3:21 PM
Saturday August 6th, 2016
| United States
Published August 3, 2016
The data from the first six months of 2016 is in; the internet in the United States has gotten faster. Fixed broadband customers have seen the biggest jump in performance with download speeds achieving an average of over 50 Mbps for the first time ever. This improvement is more than a 40% increase since July 2015. Overall, the fixed broadband industry has seen consolidation, speed upgrades and, thankfully, growth in fiber optic deployments from upstarts like Google Fiber to industry titans like XFINITY and AT&T to other regional internet service providers.
Mobile internet customers have also seen performance gains, improving by more than 30% since last year with an average download speed of 19.27 Mbps in the first six months of 2016. The four major mobile carriers—Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint—are in a tight race for fastest download speeds. All four are also aggressively competing on price to attract new subscribers.
Competition is a good thing, and while we’re seeing faster performance than ever before, the internet in the U.S. could certainly improve. The U.S. still lags from an international perspective, currently ranking 20th in fixed broadband and 42nd in mobile internet performance globally.
More at Source
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 10:25 PM
Monday August 1st, 2016
| A class action lawsuit brought against Nvidia over a slow RAM partition has resulted in a proposed settlement (PDF) that could pay $30 to anyone who bought the company’s GTX 970 graphics card before its troubles came to light.
In early 2015, a group of customers found that the GTX 970—which was advertised to have 4GB of high-speed GDDR5 RAM—experienced performance issues when pushed to the limits of that memory allotment. It then came to light that the graphics card only had 3.5 GB of the high-speed RAM, with the remaining 0.5 GB running roughly 80 percent slower, as Ars Technica reported last year.
Nvidia claimed at the time that there was an error in communication between the company’s engineers and its technical marketing team, but that it had not been intentionally misleading. A year later, that position hasn’t changed: according to the motion for preliminary approval of the settlement filed in Northern California District Court last week, Nvidia “[continues] to vigorously deny all of the claims and contentions alleged in this Action.” The company, however, “considered the risks and potential costs of continued litigation of this action,” and decided to work toward a settlement, the motion adds.
After a year’s worth of negotiations, lawyers representing customers and Nvidia came to an agreement. Besides offering $30 for each unit purchased by a customer, Nvidia will also pay $1.3 million in legal fees and plaintiff’s attorneys fees.
Source: Ars Technica
Anyone who bought a 970 prior to widespread knowledge of the RAM debacle.
That would include me! :D
Posted By The Dude @ 7:10 PM
Monday July 25th, 2016
| Only a couple of months after the release of its powerful GTX 1080 GPU, Nvidia has announced a new Titan X card – and it will be to the 1080 what the 1080 was to the previous Titan X.
The new card is built with Nvidia's Pascal GP102 architecture and will cost $1,200, which is twice as expensive as the 1080. It boasts 3584 Nvidia CUDA cores running at 1.5GHz, and delivers 11 teraflops of performance.
For some context, the previous Titan X delivered around 6 teraflops, while the 1080 boasts 8 teraflops. Suffice it to say, with 12GB of GDDR5X memory to boot, it looks to be a blindingly powerful card.
Here's what we know so far, straight from Nvidia:
12 billion transistors
11 TFLOPs FP32 (32-bit floating point)
44 TOPS INT8 (new deep learning inferencing instruction)
3,584 CUDA cores at 1.53GHz
High performance engineering for maximum overclocking
12GB of GDDR5X memory (480GB/s, 10GT/s on a 384-bit interface)
The card will be available from August 2 directly from Nvidia, so you better start saving. It was only this time two months ago that we published our review of the 1080, writing that "Pascal and the GTX 1080 deliver more performance and features, with greater efficiency." This new Titan X should finally deliver on 60+ fps at 4K.
Source: PC Gamer
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 9:33 AM
Saturday July 9th, 2016
| When you buy a game on Steam, or GOG, or anywhere online, what you’re really buying is a code—a sequence of numbers and letters that sits in a vast database of similar numbers and letters and represents one particular license for one particular game. How was that code generated? These days, usually through Valve’s developer platform called Steamworks.
Millions of Steamworks codes, deliberately generated by game publishers and vetted by Valve, are sent across the internet to other storefronts to be sold. It’s a surprisingly manual process that usually involves email and Excel spreadsheets full of codes.
So when thousands or tens of thousands of codes are sold in bundles or given away for free, it’s not so shocking that tracking the original destination for those keys can be challenging. This is one factor in the recent argument between game publisher TinyBuild and key reseller G2A, which, says TinyBuild, enables key sellers to make profits off game codes purchased with stolen credit cards. If you’ve never put much thought into that little string of letters and numbers, you may not know the differences between Steam and G2A, Humble and Itch.io, and all the other PC game sellers out there.
They all have strengths and weaknesses for both gamers and game developers that are worth knowing about before you buy from them. The information we’ve put together below will help you better understand where your games come from and where your money is going.
Source: PC Gamer
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 2:00 PM
Friday July 8th, 2016
| The recently-concluded 2016 Steam Summer Sale was the first summer sale to not offer daily deals or flash sales. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, Sergey Galyonkin of SteamSpy says it was a significantly greater success than its 2015 predecessor.
SteamSpy extrapolates data from a limited sample of user profiles, so there is a margin of error associated with these estimates. According to Galyonkin, though, about 36.8 million copies of games were sold during the 2016 Summer Sale, compared to 33 million sold in 2015. That's no doubt accounted for at least in part by the dramatic increase in Steam users at the time of each sale—175 million, up from 130 million last year—but he also claims that “a significant chunk of these new users are coming for the free-to-play titles published on Steam and, therefore, are less likely to purchase new games.” Furthermore, the increase in concurrent users from last year to this year is less pronounced, although still greater as a percentage than the increase in number of games sold.
Revenues, on the other hand, are way up. In 2015, developers earned $160 million, whereas this year they pulled in $223.2 million, a 40 percent increase. One possible reason, Galyonkin said, was the absence of flash and daily sales, which “incentivized people to wait for the best deal possible instead of buying already discounted games.” Last year, sales spiked around the first and last day of the sale; in 2016, “they were a bit more evenly distributed across the whole sale period with a spike around the first weekend.” It also made developers and publishers ease up a bit on discounts, which averaged 50 percent this year, compared to 66.7 percent last year.
Galyonkin's analysis carries many caveats, which he's very clear about right from the start: Limbo was free for a day just ahead of the sale, for instance, so he “assumed that all of its new 1.9M owners are coming from that promotion,” even though some people obviously purchased it after the giveaway period was over. He also omitted full-priced games sold during the sale, as well as anything that sold fewer than 5000 copies, as his algorithm “isn’t precise enough to reliably account for the games with lower sales.” But even if the marks aren't quite where he puts them, it seems clear that the 2016 Summer Sale was a big success—and that we're unlikely to see flash sales and daily deals return anytime soon.
(And just in case you missed it, here's that fantastic "Are You Ready?" video—still the single best videogame promotion I've ever seen.)
Source: PC Gamer
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 6:09 PM