As Steam has expanded over the years it’s also taken on an infernal-machine-like quality; it’s become this cacophonous conglomerate of bells and whistles, many of which are buried under other bells and whistles. It’s hard to know everything it is capable of, so here are a few lesser-known Steam features I’ve come across.
With some 16 months having passed since our first look at the RVZ01, Silverstone has returned with another compact gaming chassis. The Raven RVZ02 is 15% smaller than the original while promising to support graphics cards up to 13" long. Silverstone believes that the RVZ02 is one of the easiest compact Mini-ITX cases to build a gaming system in and we'll be putting together multiple hardware configurations to test this claim.
The KM780 RGB mechanical keyboard and MX780 RGB gaming mouse mark G.Skill's debut in the gaming peripherals world. The former includes features such as three mode hotkeys, six dedicated macro keys, on-board memory to save your settings and lighting patterns. The MX780 RGB features a height adjustable palm rest, interchangeable side grips and gaming grade PTFE glide pads on the underside.
The OnePlus 2 is slightly more expensive than its predecessor, starting at $329 for the 16 GB model, but once again it features top-of-the-line hardware. OnePlus has opted for a Snapdragon 810 SoC with 3 or 4 GB of RAM and a 3,300 mAh battery, on the front is a 5.5-inch 1080p display, and on the rear a 13-megapixel camera with an f/2.0 lens, OIS and laser autofocus.
The In Win 805 is a mid-sized tower constructed exclusively using aluminum and 3mm thick tempered glass. The front panel could be described as a work of art. The majority of the panel is covered in tempered glass but what gives it a special look is the honeycomb cutouts behind the glass. At a quick glance the 805 appears to be well equipped as well, offering plenty storage options, decent cooling out of the box, and Type-C USB on the front panel.
Logitech recently reached out to us for a tour of their audio headquarters in Camas, Washington, where it spent the last 18 months designing what it believes to be the best sounding, most well-featured headset on the market, gaming or otherwise. In fact, they're so confident in the Artemis Spectrum, Logitech bravely threw its creation to a small pack of skeptical tech journalists in hopes they'd go home impressed. Here are our thoughts.
The G310 Atlas Dawn is a slimmed down version of the G910, Logitech's previous Romer-G mechanical keyboard. Gone are the macro keys and media control functions along the side and top of the board. The number pad has also been given the boot in order to create a lightweight and compact keyboard that's better suited for travel to LAN events or to fit into smaller gaming spaces.
Based on the fully fledged Fiji XT, the Radeon R9 Nano gets the same 4096 stream processors as the Fury X, just in a much more compact package. The Nano measures only 6" (152mm) long, which is made possible by the Fiji GPU's modest power consumption and HBM technology. AMD hopes to enable 4K gaming in tiny Mini-ITX systems with the Nano.
After delivering the best budget smartphone in 2013 and 2014, Motorola is going for the hat trick with this year's Moto G. It still costs $180 and it still features great hardware for the price. One of the biggest updates to the 2015 Moto G is that it finally comes with 4G LTE connectivity as standard, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410’s integrated LTE modem. We’re also seeing decent upgrades to the front and rear cameras, MotoMaker support, plus a water resistant design.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is now out for PC and consoles. Powered by the Fox Engine, you can expect to see subsurface scattering, physically-based rendering and other impressive technologies. Using the latest AMD and Nvidia drivers, we tested 26 DirectX 11 graphics cards covering most price ranges.
For the most part, the S6 Active is a clone of the Galaxy S6 featuring the same 5.1-inch 1440p display, Exynos 7420 SoC inside, and 16-megapixel optically stabilized camera. But where they differ is in design. The Galaxy S6 Active is better suited to survive drops, harsh conditions and liquids. The Active also features a considerably larger battery, which promises to deliver far better battery life than the standard S6.
The Core X9 is a behemoth, boasting a bar-fridge-like 122L capacity -- large enough that Thermaltake says dual systems are on the menu, not to mention the possibilities for liquid cooling and file servers. "Super Towers" or "Ultra Towers" such as the Lian Li D8000, Cooler Master Cosmos II and Corsair Obsidian 900D typically cost upwards of $300, so we're eager to see what Thermaltake's Core X9 delivers for almost 40% less.
The thing about Rocket League that keeps me coming back to it so often, is how it’s a multiplayer game, but it’s not a multiplayer game. I normally avoid traditionally multiplayer titles; the last thing I want to deal with when playing video games is the grating sound and erratic behaviour of other human beings. But with Rocket League, it just doesn’t matter.
If you’ve ever witnessed variable refresh rate (VRR) technologies like G-Sync and FreeSync, then you likely know VRR one of the most significant gaming improvements in recent times. But now the technology has finally gone mobile. With our tricked out Origin EON17-X gaming notebook, we’ll be exploring Nvidia’s Mobile G-Sync and how it translates to gaming on the go.
Internet is the most important invention of the 20th Century. It has changed the way people communicate, cooperate, learn and trade globally. The last two decades has seen users rising from forty million to around 3 billion, with one billion added in the last four-five years itself. And yet over 4 billion people remain unconnected to the Internet.
Many of Windows 10’s key features have been talked about at length, but the operating system actually comes with a lot of great features that aren’t as immediately obvious to everyday users and even enthusiasts. These features don’t get the attention that they should, so without further ado, let’s get on with the top 10 hidden features of Windows 10.
Nvidia turned up the heat on AMD's Radeon range last year when it released its latest Maxwell GPUs, however most of them cost well over $300. Replacing the merely adequate GTX 750 Ti is the new GeForce GTX 950, stepping in as the current generation $150 GPU and promising to deliver highly playable 1080p performance.
It's hard to believe the prices many of us were paying for SSD storage just a few years ago when we can grab a 1TB Crucial MX200 for just $365. Recently, Samsung delivered even higher capacity SSDs with 2TB versions of its famed 850 Pro and 850 Evo series, which we have on hand today. While we already know the drive is reasonably priced for the amount of storage provided, we're keen to see how it performs.
Thanks to the rapid rate of change in video games, both my job and the industry I cover are practically unrecognisable after a decade. There have been hundreds of significant changes, big and small, technological and cultural. Here are the 10 things I believe are the most important in this decade of transformation.
There are some classic PC games -- some old enough to buy their own alcohol -- that are as good today as the day they were released. You may not have heard of all of them. After all, when a game has been out for a while, people generally stop talking about it. They are still out there though, waiting patiently for someone to pick them up and play.
Windows 10 is put to the test to find out how it fares compared to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 in various aspects of the operating system including boot up and shutdown times, file copying, encoding, browsing, gaming and some synthetic benchmarks.
Compared to reference designs by Nvidia and AMD, their partners usually come up with creations that run cooler and quieter. A perfect example of this is Gainward's GTX 980 Ti "Golden Sample", with a 15% factory overclock that provides 11% more performance on average and a "Zero RPM fan design". Not wanting to simply just revisit the GTX 980 Ti's performance, we'll be hooking up two of these in SLI and test them agains a pair of AMD's Radeon R9 Fury X cards in Crossfire.
Whereas Broadwell was a 'tick' in Intel's "tick-tock" release cycle, Skylake is a 'tock', which means the same manufacturing process along architecture improvements. Chief among the changes is a new LGA1151 socket, which will require a new motherboard that supports an Intel 100 Series chipset, as well as support for DDR4 memory. On hand today we have the Core i7-6700K, a quad-core processor operating at a base clock of 4.0GHz.
For a very long time, people have imagined the life of a video game tester, not as 9-to-5 job but as the fantasy of teenagers everywhere. Who wouldn’t want to sit on a comfy couch and play games all day. Reality is a little different. Over the past few months I’ve had extensive conversations with several dozen current and former QA testers in an attempt to explore the world of video game testing and try to explain what it’s really like to play games for a living.