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TweakTown News Posts - Page 10

Razer debuts Chroma-based RGB LED strips for desktop PCs

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Cameras | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Razer already has its Chroma lighting system, showing off its beautiful RGB LED goodness that syncs your RGB LEDs between gaming mice, keyboards, and mousepads - oh and even laptops, and a cup holder.



Well now, Razer has unveiled their new Chroma Hardware Development Kit that uses Chroma-compatible LED light strips that you can add to your gaming PC, or behind your displays and the sides of your desk. The results? Absolutely GORGEOUS.




Razer is selling the full Chroma Hardware Development Kit for $79.99 - currently sold out, which normally includes the base module, and 4 x lighting channels and 2 x LED strips. You can buy additional LED strips with a 2-pack costing $29.99.

Apple's rumored smart glasses: 3D cameras, no display

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Apple is rumored to release their new smart glasses or AR headset later this year, and now The Financial Times are reporting that the iPhone maker is making a pair of AR-powered smart glasses, lining up with the various rumors that Apple is set to crank the dial to 11 later this year.




Apple is looking at multiple ways of delivering its glasses, with one design featuring 3D cameras and wait for it... no display on the device itself. There's no final design just yet, as Apple would be keeping this under wraps more so than any other launch in their history. The report states: "A particular area of experimentation, people familiar with the matter say, is a pair of AR glasses that might move cameras, sensors and screens from the smartphone to the face. Yet despite the excitement surrounding ARKit, internally the company is still not sure what the most compelling application for such a headset might be".


We should expect the company to unveil their next-gen iPhone sometime next month, with the purported iPhone X and iPhone 8 to be unveiled alongside next-gen smart glasses. It's an exciting time to be a technology enthusiast, that's for sure.

4 x AMD Radeon Pro WX 9100s require 2 x 1250W PSUs

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

SIGGRAPH 2017 - AMD were on fire at SIGGRAPH 2017, debuting their new Radeon Pro SSG and Radeon Pro WX 9100 graphics cards, both based on the new Vega GPU architecture and both featuring HBM2 tech, and HBCC.




The new Radeon Pro WX 9100 is AMD's new workstation graphics card that is built for today and tomorrows video and design/manufacturing workloads, featuring 12.3 TFLOPs of peak single preciion compute performance. Inside, the Radeon Pro WX 9100 features the full Vega 10 NCU, 16GB of HBM2 ECC memory, and AMD's next-gen High Bandwidth Cache Controller (HBCC).




AMD's new Radeon Pro WX 9100 handles 8K 60Hz, 4K 120Hz and everything in between with its DisplayPort 1.4 HDR-ready connections for up to 6 displays.




The company was showing off a 4-way Radeon Pro WX 9100 system at SIGGRAPH, with each card worth $2199 - we have a system with $8796 worth of graphics cards. All four of these cards required AMD to use 2 x 1250W PSUs... and for the keen-eyed, you'll spot that AMD strapped a M.2 SSD to the first PSU, for reasons completely unknown to us.

Continue reading '4 x AMD Radeon Pro WX 9100s require 2 x 1250W PSUs' (full post)

So, I broke an AI system made by NVIDIA at SIGGRAPH 2017

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

SIGGRAPH 2017 - NVIDIA had a lot to show at SIGGRAPH 2017 this year, with Quadro P6000 systems that were editing 8K video in real-time, to multiple different demonstrations of artificial intelligence and deep learning systems.




One of the AI demonstrations was an AI system called Isaac, who was a Pixar-style robot that you played dominoes against. NVIDIA had a sealed off room that you stepped into, with 3 x systems all powered with high-end Quadro P6000 graphics cards. One of the systems was powering a HTC Vive headset, while the other two were GPU grunt for the AI system, Isaac.


In the VR world, you stand in a class room, across the table from Isaac. Isaac is there to play dominoes against, with NVIDIA building their AI system to detect your moves in the game, and then countering them. If you placed a domino down and it had a single dot, Isaac would respond by working out what he's seeing (a domino with a single dot) and then reaching for one of his dominoes, and placing it next to yours - prompting you for your next move.

Continue reading 'So, I broke an AI system made by NVIDIA at SIGGRAPH 2017' (full post)

Steam adds 27 million new gamers in just 18 months

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Steam is riding a huge wave of PC gaming, especially with Battlegrounds just eating up the Steam charts, but over the last 18 months the company has added 27 million new gamers to Steam... or 1.5 million gamers per month.




GeekWire is reporting that one of Valve's slides at a presentation showed that Steam has 33 million daily active players, and 67 million monthly active players. Since January 2016, Valve has added 27 million new gamers to Steam, or 1.5 million per month for 18 months. Steam has also reached a huge 14 million concurrent users, up from 8.4 million in 2015 - while 125 million registered users in total.


Breaking the numbers into region, the US scoops up 34% of Steam gamers, while Europe is home to 29%. Asia continues to get bigger for Steam, hitting 17% of all users spread across Korea, China, and Japan.

NVIDIA beats AMD with real-time 8K video editing

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Update: I've talked to AMD about this article since it went live, and I've been informed that something isn't right here - and that the new Radeon Pro SSG will wipe the floor with NVIDIA's Quadro P6000 graphics card. AMD has promised to send me a Radeon Pro SSG when it launches to do my own in-house testing against the P6000 with real-time 8K video editing, something that is meant to be only capable on Radeon Pro SSG.


AMD debuted their upcoming Radeon Pro SSG during Capsaicin just before SIGGRAPH 2017 kicked off, with their next-gen Vega GPU architecture featuring a 2TB NVMe drive soldered to the graphics card as 2TB of massively-fast cache. Perfect, and reportedly needed for real-time 8K video editing from RED Cinema cameras... until we visited NVIDIA a couple of days later.




NVIDIA were showing off their Quadro P6000 graphics card, which has been available for months and months now, editing 8K footage from a RED camera - all in real-time, without 2TB of cache.




There were some big differences between the systems and what parts of the PC were being used, depending on the card doing the 8K scrubbing and editing. AMD's new Radeon Pro SSG was pushing nearly 5GB/sec from the SSDs on the Radeon Pro SSG, while the CPU usage was just 14% and the RAM usage only 24%. NVIDIA's system didn't need a 2TB SSD drive to reach 8K real-time editing, but the CPU and RAM usage numbers were much higher. I didn't snap a photo of this, but I remember the CPU usage getting closer to 30% while the RAM consumption ramped up to 50%.

Continue reading 'NVIDIA beats AMD with real-time 8K video editing' (full post)

Corsair One updated: GTX 1080 Ti, 32GB RAM, up to $2899

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Corsair surprised gamers earlier this year with their SFF gaming PC, Corsair ONE, and have since updated it with some new hardware. The new Corsair ONE PRO includes a Core i7-7700K with liquid cooling, the option for either 16GB or 32GB of RAM, and new GPU options.




The new Corsair ONE PRO starts at $2299 with the GeForce GTX 1080 w/LCS, 16GB of DDR4-2400 RAM, a 480GB NVMe SSD, 2TB HDD, and the options of a 400W PSU for $2299, while there's a $2699 model with the same innards but the GTX 1080 Ti w/LCS. Lastly, there's the $2899 model that includes the faster GTX 1080 Ti w/LCS but bumps up the RAM to 32GB, and includes a 500W PSU.


Corsair worked with MSI on th e GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, which sees the GPU clocked at 100MHz higher than NVIDIA's own GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition. The PSU itself is a 500W 80 Plus Gold PSU from Corsair, while the 32GB of RAM is Corsair's own Vengeance LPX RAM. Motherboard wise, Corsair includes an board based on Intel's Z270 chipset, with a custom SFX PSU that features just a single fan.

Continue reading 'Corsair One updated: GTX 1080 Ti, 32GB RAM, up to $2899' (full post)

Acer delays its next-gen 4K gaming monitor into 2018

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Acer has been teasing gamers for most of 2017 with its upcoming Predator X27 gaming monitor, promising 4K @ 144Hz with HDR and G-Sync... but now the company has delayed it until 2018. No reason has been given for the delay, with Acer announcing the news over Twitter of all places.



Acer would've been one of two companies with a 4K 144Hz HDR G-Sync gaming monitor, with ASUS being whisper quiet on its upcoming display with the same specs. Acer delaying its Predator X27 gaming monitor until Q1 2018 is a weird move, and could be for a few reasons. First, it has never been done before: 4K @ 144Hz with HDR is a huge shift in gaming panels. It represents the utter peak of the enthusiast market, and will quickly become the Ferrari of gaming displays.


Secondly, there's no hardware that can drive 4K at 144FPS minimum... period. Since it's a NVIDIA G-Sync supported panel, you'll want GeForce graphics cards to power it, and even two GeForce GTX 1080 Ti cards in SLI won't be enough. Maybe Acer have delayed the Predator X27 to better line up with NVIDIA's next-gen GeForce GTX 11 series graphics cards to power 4K @ 144FPS. Does this mean we'll see the GeForce GTX 1180 Ti released before the GTX 1180? It would make sense, that's for sure.

Continue reading 'Acer delays its next-gen 4K gaming monitor into 2018' (full post)

Middle-earth Shadow of War is online-only

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 3 days ago

UPDATE: Monolith community manager Steve Rabago reportedly confirmed Shadow of War can be played offline "at the moment", countering his quotes on the official forums. Mr. Rabago reportedly said "at the moment you can play offline" in a Discord chat session. Original article is as follows.


Despite being an open-world singplayer game, Monolith's new Middle-earth: Shadow of War will require a persistent online internet connection in order to play.




Warner Bros. Games recently confirmed that Middle-earth: Shadow of War can't be played offline and will need an internet connection, however it appears that stipulation may change in the future.


"At the moment, we require an internet connection," Monolith Productions Community Specialist Steve Rabago said in a recent thread on the community forums, hinting the studio could enable offline play.


While WB Games hasn't discussed the always-online requirement--Mr. Rabago said it's a "no comment" response--this move is almost assuredly related to the game's new microtransaction system. The studio recently confirmed that Shadow of War would be monetized with loot boxes via currency that can be purchased with real money, effectively adding a Games-as-a-Service hook to the title. It's likely that the always-online requirement is a means of authentication to prevent cheating or meddling as well as push players towards extra purchases, however it's a frustrating requirement to have for a singleplayer-only game.

Continue reading 'Middle-earth Shadow of War is online-only' (full post)

Blizzard pulled in most of Activision's Q2 revenues

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 3 days ago

Blizzard games were the top earners for Activision's second quarter, outperforming core IPs like Call of Duty and King's popular mobile games.




The company's Blizzard games segment, which includes massively popular breadwinners like Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and Hearthstone, pulled in $556 million in net revenues in the second quarter period from April through June, up an incredible 175% year-over-year and accounting for 42% of Activision's total segment net revenues of $1.362 billion. Activision attributes these strong earnings to efficient monetization of the record engagement and MAU growth Blizzard saw during the quarter. Blizzard enjoyed the "biggest quarterly online player community in its history" with a record 46 million monthly active users (MAUs), up 38% year-over-year, with Overwatch and Hearthstone responsible for the bulk of this growth.


Blizzard helped drive Activision's record $1.631 billion in net revenues for the quarter, and significantly contributed to nearly $1 billion earned in microtransactions in the period. This performance directly reflects Blizzard's shift away from full game releases to digital content for 2017, and the developer helped Activision propel its predominantly digital revenues to new heights by pulling in strong live services revenue with new content updates and microtransactions across its slate of games.

Continue reading 'Blizzard pulled in most of Activision's Q2 revenues' (full post)