Set in an alternate reality techno-dystopian Chicago, Watch Dogs hit every gamer's holiday wishlist after appearing at E3 2012. The open world hackfest wowed onlookers with its urban stealth action and its seemingly 'next-gen' graphics, built on the studio's new 'Disrupt' engine. Although there was a lot of controversy surrounding Watch Dog's graphics approaching its launch, ultimately the game looks amazing when set to ultra on the PC.
Being the first mouse to tout a staggering 12,000 DPI makes the Logitech G502 particularly interesting for early adopters already on 4K displays. But its advanced sensor is complemented by a host of other features that also make for the ultimate gaming companion. This mouse is super flexible, working flawlessly on a variety of surfaces, it has chevron-shaped 3.6g weights, eleven programmable buttons, in-game DPI shifting and dual mouse wheel modes.
Trapped in a vegetative state for 14 years, Wolfenstein hero B.J. Blazkowicz awakens to a 1960 dominated by Nazis and a life no-longer solely defined by the killing of them. Not that killing Nazis isn't an important aspect of Wolfenstein: The New Order. What does a man driven by singular purpose do when that purpose is stripped away?
The Xperia Z2 Tablet is a successor to last year’s Xperia Tablet Z, and like what we’re seeing in Sony’s smartphone range, the device is an incremental update to what came before. Like the Tablet Z, the Z2 Tablet is fully water resistant, packs a 10.1-inch WUXGA display, and is under 7mm thick. The most significant update is the specification bump to Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 801 SoC, plus there’s an improved camera and a sizable weight reduction.
Metadot is arguably responsible for pioneering the commercial mechanical keyboard market, much like OCZ did with solid state drives. We’ve seen a number of revisions and competitors hit the scene since the original Das Keyboard launched in 2005, but their latest offering promises to be an order of magnitude better than previous generations, bringing in new features while staying true to its roots in terms of aesthetics and its 104-key layout.
Mario Kart was never my game. When it was originally released in 1992, I was already in love with another Nintendo racing game featuring high-tech Mode 7 graphics — F-Zero. I've dabbled with each iteration of Mario Kart over the past couple of decades and they all feel pretty much the same every time. But this time it's different. Within seconds of starting my first race, I could tell this was more than just plain old Mario Kart with fancy HD graphics.
Nearly six years have passed since the Core i7 series debuted as a 45nm part on the LGA1366 platform, which Intel has been refining over many iterations through its tick-tock philosophy that follows every architectural update with a die shrink. Today's release isn't a tick or a tock, it's simply a refresh. But while we don't expect much more than slight speed bumps, the company has also released new 9-series chipsets, and we happen to have a few motherboards on hand.
Another year, another Galaxy device. Since the release of the original Galaxy S in 2010, Samsung has been routinely refining their flagship formula through hardware upgrades, software polish and no shortage of gimmicks. We typically see larger displays, more cores, bigger megapixel counts, larger batteries and interesting new additions with every release. As you'd expect, 2014’s Galaxy S5 does little to break away from this formula.
The next-generation of monitor technology is upon us, quadrupling the number pixels on our screens and placing a heavy burden on our beleaguered GPUs. What does it take to put together a 4K-ready gaming PC? If you've got a gaming PC capable of playing most modern-day games at Ultra settings, there's a good chance it'll be able to handle an Ultra HD monitor. How well it handles an Ultra HD monitor will come down to your graphics hardware.
My household cut the metaphorical cable cord about five years ago, so I've watched this idea evolve in the media from "insane notion" to "cable industry crisis." If the headlines are to be believed, consumers are abandoning traditional TV in droves in favor of streaming gadgets and apps, but the truth is actually a bit more complicated than that. To help you decide whether cable abandonment is right for you, we're tackling seven major cord-cutting myths.
First unveiled at Computex 2013, Corsair's Carbide Air 540 employs an interesting dual-chamber design and is available in black, white and silver versions. The newer Obsidian 450D features a more traditional tower case design. In fact, it looks a lot like a smaller version of the 650D, which is in turn a smaller version of the legendary 800D. Despite having different designs, the Carbide Air 540 and Obsidian 450D are closely priced at $110 and $120.
I've been using Mionix mice for years now, because being a regular person, and not a pro gamer, I value ergonomics over performance. But what happens when Mionix get around to making a mouse that feels as good as it works? You get, at least in theory, the Mionix Naos 7000. Which is an awesome gaming mouse.
There are a number of uses for running live Linux environments from a USB drive, from simply test driving Linux to troubleshooting a Windows PC, or working on the go securely from someone else’s computer. There are two options when it comes to running Linux from a USB drive: from within Windows using virtualization software such as VirtualBox, or creating a boot disk. This quick guide details both methods in a few easy steps.
Intel's Bay Trail platform and low-power Haswell offerings may be the go-to choice when it comes to mainstream Windows tablets and laptops, but AMD believes that their next generation chips will be the best. A refinement of their work on APUs in the past few years, the new chips, ‘Beema’ and ‘Mullins’, are set to be strong contenders in this segment. Both products make use of AMD’s new Puma+ CPU cores and a GCN GPU with 128 compute cores at varying frequencies.
Low-end desktop SoCs typically come soldered to motherboards, including AMD's 2011 Brazos platform as well as Intel's Bay Trail-D. AMD hopes to change that with its AM1 platform, which currently offers four APUs as well as a range of affordable motherboards. While checking out the new AM1 APUs, we have rounded up competing chips to give you a clearer picture of what is available in the budget CPU market.
Back when OCZ released the RevoDrive 3 X2 in 2011, it was the fastest SSD for desktop users that we had seen. Using PCI Express, it eliminated the SATA bottleneck that most SSDs still face today while also offering hassle-free RAID. Three years later, the company is replacing it with the RevoDrive 350, touted as the ultimate storage solution for intensive workstation applications. The new RevoDrive has been upgraded to x8 PCIe 2.0 and boasts read/write speeds of 1.8/1.7GBps.
What makes a product iconic? Design, functionality, styling, and innovation will get you part of the way there, but the true tests are how these products distinguished themselves from their competitors, how widely those traits were imitated by those competitors, and how history remembers their status. Here are some products that left their mark on the PC industry, whether in the form of full systems, CPUs, graphics cards, motherboards, cases or peripherals.
As Amazon Fire TV bursts onto the market to compete with streamers like the Roku 3 and Apple TV, you may be wondering what these set-top boxes offer over cheaper streaming sticks, specifically Google's Chromecast and Roku's Streaming Stick. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks, and it really comes down to what features you want, and possibly what tech ecosystem you are already a part of.
Unveiled at CES this year, the latest member to Silverstone's Raven family quickly gained recognition for being the ultimate Steam Machine enclosure. Called the Raven Z RVZ01, this gaming chassis is among the best compact designs we've seen for cramming a fully-fledged enthusiast PC into an impressively small space.
Veering off the beaten path, Acer decided to see what would happen if they took the traditional AIO formula, threw out the Windows operating system and PC hardware, replacing it instead with high-end smartphone guts powered by Android. They nailed the key component of the system -- the display -- as its AIO is built on top of an existing monitor, the T272 HUL, offering 10-point multi-touch and a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440. But does Android make sense on the desktop?
The HTC One was one of my favorite pieces of hardware from 2013. It was the first time we had really seen a company succeed at producing an Android smartphone with a premium look and feel that rivaled Apple’s iPhone. In 2014, HTC is releasing the all new One, or HTC One M8. The evolution of this flagship takes many forms. There’s more aluminum than the original model; the display size has been bumped to 5-inches; the Ultrapixel camera is now the new Duo Camera array; there’s a faster Snapdragon 801 SoC inside; there’s a refined Sense 6.0 UI atop Android 4.4; and much more.
Today marks the arrival of AMD's successor to the Radeon HD 7990. The latter was a formidable rival for the GeForce GTX Titan but it faced poor frame latency performance and enormous power consumption figures. Later on the single-GPU R9 290X managed an even more impressive feat but that card was also 20% more power hungry and thus had a huge thermal output. So much so that we weren't sure if AMD was seriously considering two Hawaii XT GPUs on a single PCB.
Apparently so, as they are unveiling the Radeon R9 295X2, the most extreme graphics cards we have ever seen.
Burial at Sea has long promised to let us finally step into the shoes of Elizabeth, the young woman who in BioShock Infinite alternated as sidekick, damsel in distress, super-powered plot device, and harbinger of the apocalypse. The game picks up immediately after the events at the end of the first episode. Of course, picking up "immediately after" the first chapter doesn't really mean much in the multiverse of BioShock Infinite. In a matter of minutes, everything that seemed to (sort of) make sense at the end of episode one has been turned on its ear.
Video playback is one common case scenario where efficiency is crucial and where a lengthy battery life is an infrequently found godsend. But what you may not realize is that the video player itself, and the format your videos are encoded in, can also have an impact on power consumption.
Sometimes it pays to buy slightly older devices in place of tempting deals on newly released tech. But that approach to buying electronics can only take you so far. As today's gadgets become ever more powerful and multi-purpose, there are some product categories that are nearing outright extinction and would make for silly purchases. Before you consider buying any of the items on this list, think long and hard about whether such a device is not a waste of your money.