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  2. Hello hwowk, Welcome to UnityHQ Nolfseries Community. Please feel free to browse around and get to know the others. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. hwowk joined on the 09/28/2022. View Member
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  4. Walmart is teaming up with Roblox to create not just one but two "immersive experiences in the metaverse." Walmart Land and Walmart's Universe of Play each promise "unique interactive content and entertainment," in Walmart's words—pure innovation from start to finish, no doubt—and each paints a picture of a starkly bleak consumerist future where everything has gone wrong. "We’re showing up in a big way—creating community, content, entertainment and games through the launch of Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play," Walmart chief marketing officer William White said. "Roblox is one of the fastest growing and largest platforms in the metaverse, and we know our customers are spending loads of time there. So, we’re focusing on creating new and innovative experiences that excite them, something we’re already doing in the communities where they live, and now, the virtual worlds where they play." Walmart's two metaversal presences come off a bit like Disneyland and Disney World: Related, connected, yet very different. Walmart Land promises "a variety of immersive experiences," naturally including a virtual store of merchandise, which Walmart has decided to describe as "verch" because no matter how bad things get, they can always get worse. Walmart's Universe of Play, on the other hand, sounds more directly game-focused: It will launch with five games (based on licensed properties like Jurassic World and Paw Patrol, of course) and will enable players to collect virtual toys that can be exchange for coins redeemable for (ugh, sigh) "avatar verch." The move into a virtual realm is not unprecedented. Back in the day, dozens of businesses set up shop in the groundbreaking metaverse-game Second Life, including Adidas, American Apparel, Dell, Intel, Nissan, and Sundance. But those communities were very niche: Second Life was for awhile considered a potential virtual world of the future, but it ultimately slipped sideways into an adult-oriented MMO; Walmart Land, by comparison, looks like Zuckerberg's godawful selfie brought to horrible life by an executive committee that reads the reports but doesn't really understand what they say. Image 1 of 6 (Image credit: Walmart)Image 2 of 6 (Image credit: Walmart)Image 3 of 6 (Image credit: Walmart)Image 4 of 6 (Image credit: Walmart)Image 5 of 6 (Image credit: Walmart)Image 6 of 6 (Image credit: Walmart) To be fair to Walmart, the Walmart Land video embedded at the top looks like a fairly conventional ad. But the video below, shared by Kotaku's Zack Zwiezen, is just flat-out grim: After 15 seconds of awkward-as-hell silence (no, there is nothing wrong with your speakers, that's just how it is), White says "Hey everyone" to an audience of one and then introduces Walmart Land as a concept for "the next generation of customers." He says "verch" out loud, too. This video of Walmart's chief marketing officer on a stage in Roblox talking about its new "Walmart Land" experience is one of the saddest videos ever created. pic.twitter.com/HtIIToShKsSeptember 26, 2022 See more (You watch the full video It's the kind of speech I've heard dozens of times previously in quarterly financial calls, filled with expressions of excitement and anticipations delivered in the flattest monotone imaginable, which is fine for an assemblage of analysts looking for EBITDA projections over the next two fiscals. But as a way to convince people to come on down and give your new virtual playground a spin, all it does is make me want to log off, set my PC on fire, and move into a forest somewhere far, far away. View the full article
  5. A new video has popped up on Youtube (see above, until the inevitable takedown) showing PlayStation 5 roguelike Returnal running on PC. The short clip remains paused on the game's graphics settings menu, though unfortunately it doesn't scroll through the entire list of options. What it does show is enough to confirm Returnal's graphics options on PC will be pretty extensive, including multiple image upscaling techniques. Whoever recorded the 53-second clip spends most of it flipping through Returnal's Screen Optimizations setting, which includes a few choices: Resolution scaling - Rendering the game at lower than native res for increased performance.Dynamic resolution - Letting the game automatically lower resolution during demanding scenes.DLSS - Nvidia's popular AI-based upscaling technique is included. Nice. It has Performance, Balanced, Quality, Ultra Performance, and Ultra Quality options.AMD FSR - AMD's upscaling technique is here too, with the same options as DLSS.NIS - Another Nvidia upscaling technique that doesn't require an RTX graphics card. The rest of the graphics settings we can see confirm a few other welcome features: unlocked framerate support and ray tracing for both shadows and reflections. Given the DLSS support above, it seems likely Returnal will support Nvidia's RTX ray tracing tech. This is, like, the fourth time Returnal's PC port has leaked in some form. It popped up on SteamDB and showed up in a GDC talk earlier this year, and someone already posted screenshots of the graphics settings page alongside a leak of Sony platformer Sackboy. Probably time to own up to this one, Sony. View the full article
  6. Now that the Merge has happened, large-scale ethereum miners are finding themselves with a lot of GPUs with nothing to mine. This means some of these operations will likely attempt to offload their mining kits on the secondhand market to salvage some profit. But first, you got to clean your inventory, right? A series of videos posted by Twitter user I_Leak_VN (spotted by Tom's Hardware) shows Vietnamese miners using a powerwasher on the graphics cards inside their mining rigs. One video even shows a handful of GPUs bathed in ozone water, according to the tweet. The video may seem obviously ridiculous, but even so: I strongly recommend against power washing your gaming PC or components with water from your yard hose. I do get the temptation; we know from Powerwash Simulator that power washing rules. Just… not in this case. The pressure from the jet wash could easily damage a graphics card, blast off a capacitor, or wash away thermal paste or lube, as Tom's Hardware points out. That doesn't even cover the electrical damage that could potentially be done by using regular ole water. Some Vietnamese miners have cleaned up their old graphics cards after ETH merge by bathing them with extremely high risk. It's really their cleaning season while waiting for the next GPU-minable 3rd coin. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/qnUMWxpyctSeptember 23, 2022 See more You can potentially use ozone or deionized water to clean electronics since it doesn't contain the impurities that make tap water conduct electricity. So long as you let the components dry out after a deionized water bath, they should work again just fine. However, even if you dunk your stuff in deionized water, it can still get contaminated with impurities once you pull it out into the open air. Likewise, unless you're giving your stuff a bath in a spotless clean room, that water may not stay pristine for long. I'm pretty skeptical these crypto miners are drying out GPUs in a sterile environment, so we arrive back at my original point: power washing your computer is a bad idea. The last thing you want to plug into a PC is a GPU with a pocket of moisture trapped inside it. These videos should serve as a warning for anyone thinking about shopping for a used graphics card in the next few months as the secondhand market is flooded with crypto mining cards. Seeing that the massive demand for GPUs is dropping post-Merge, they should be a little easier to find at retail. And with the launch of Nvidia's new RTX 40-series, expect to see big sales of previous-gen RTX 30-series GPUs in the next few weeks. There's no reason to risk your precious PC with a potentially damaged component in order to save a buck. View the full article
  7. CD Projekt's cyberenaissance continue today with word from the studio that Cyberpunk 2077 has now sold more than 20 million copies. "Over 20 million cyberpunks have been roaming the streets of Night City—partying with Jackie and getting to know Johnny, driving around with Panam and diving with Judy, hanging out with River and listening to Kerry’s songs," CD Projekt tweeted. "Thank you and we hope to see you all in the Afterlife!" Over 20 million cyberpunks have been roaming the streets of Night City – partying with Jackie and getting to know Johnny, driving around with Panam and diving with Judy, hanging out with River and listening to Kerry’s songs.Thank you and we hope to see you all in the Afterlife! pic.twitter.com/ifFLhg6npOSeptember 28, 2022 See more Afterlife, by the way, is a nightclub in Cyberpunk 2077 that caters primarily to mercs and muscle. Selling 20 million copies is a remarkable achievement that puts the game in some very impressive company, including CD Projekt's previous game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, although it's still a far cry from the true behemoths like Minecraft (238 million), Grand Theft Auto 5 (170 million), or PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (75 million). Even more impressive is how quickly it accomplished the feat. It took Stardew Valley six years to sell 20 million copies, for instance, while The Witcher 3 took four years; Cyberpunk 2077 pulled it off in less than two. CD Projekt's official investor relations account, which is normally a straitlaced source of financial and regulatory information for investors, analysts, and other business types, was having some fun with the big number too. pic.twitter.com/VdCT4nPF28September 28, 2022 See more Cyberpunk's sales were certainly front-loaded: more than half were rung up within a few weeks of its December 2020 release, thanks to a hugely successful pre-launch campaign that pulled in roughly eight million preorders—enough to make the game a bonafide hit before it was even released. Even so, more than six million sales over the subsequent year-and-a-half is nothing to sneeze at, especially given the game's well-publicized problems and complete absence from the PlayStation Store for much of that time. Rather than taking the loss and walking away after the car-crash release, CD Projekt has continued to work on Cyberpunk 2077, pushing back plans for new content and expansions in order to focus on fixes and performance improvements. Those efforts are undoubtedly paying off, but the game also got a big bump from Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, the anime that debuted on Netflix earlier this month. It convinced Wes to give the game another shot (or at least think about it) and plenty of others felt the same way. The average and peak concurrent player counts on Steam skyrocketed, and it bounced back into the middle of Steam's top 10 games by player count, too—a hell of a comeback by any measure. View the full article
  8. Terraria's developers have stopped talking about any update being final: as it turns out, even after more than 11 years, they still have more ideas for the crafting survival game. The new Labor of Love update, the follow-up to the supposedly final Journey's End, arrived on Wednesday, with a dizzying number of changes in tow before you even dig into the dozens and dozens of bug fixes. Here are the highlights: A new "Zenith" world seed that Re-Logic calls "the true Magnum Opus of Terraria World Seeds." This one supposedly combines the unique features from every other Terraria world seed and also includes "a few features and dynamics unique to that seed." It's also scaled to be harder than any other seed, so if you create a Zenith world on Master Difficulty, you'll essentially be playing on a new legendary difficulty.There's another world seed that turns the world upside down.Gear loadouts: You can now create three separate loadouts, so instead of swapping out weapons and equipment constantly, you can quickly switch from your building to your fighting loadout, or whatever you fancy.Inventory overhaul: Most items now stack to 9999, and the Void Bag item makes it much easier to deal with overflow items in your inventory.World seed and boss updates: Re-Logic has polished up the Celebration Mk 10 and For the Worth Seeds with "some pretty substantial tweaks" and reworked the Golem and Duke Fishron boss fights to make them more involved and more challenging.The Shellfone: An item you can use to choose where your magic mirror teleports you.Overhauled melee combat: This includes buffs to a ton of melee weapons, significant reworks to some specific weapons, and a big change to how melee works. "All broadsword-class melee weapons (this also includes pickaxes, axes, hammers, and hamaxes) now use local immunity frames on hit. Very notably, this means that projectile swords will no longer block their own piercing projectiles from hitting a target at point blank range." On top of those major changes are many more: 300 new items, a new tree type, 25 new blocks and wall types, and oh-so-many little quality of life and interface changes. A new Coating type lets you turn your buildings invisible. Ropes now properly interact with minecarts and platforms. You can now have twice as many debuffs and buffs active at any time (a total of 44). There is a new thing called the Fart Kart. Terraria: Labor of Love is available now. You can read the full patch notes over on the Terraria forums. View the full article
  9. The best Acer gaming laptop deals are right here. There's always a few discounts on Acer's laptop offerings, so I went through them and found the best options to grab right now. Acer's Predator series is the usual go-to for a desktop replacement, but there are other, cheaper options that offer solid gaming potential too. Don't forget the Acer Nitro line-up: great entry-level gaming laptops for those on a tight budget. They may not be as flashy as its more expensive siblings but still manage to pack an impressive punch where it matters most. Thankfully, Acer has finally removed the word 'Predator' from its laptop's lid, which might have caused some embarrassing misunderstandings in public. Due to the sheer breadth of specs, styles, and price points in Acer's portfolio, finding the specs to match your needs isn't as easy as we'd like. With more and more laptops touting brand new GPUs like the Nvidia RTX 30-series, the choices and options can be overwhelming. But that's what we're here for. Below are some of the best Acer gaming laptops I tested this year. The best Acer gaming laptop deals today Acer Nitro 5 | Nvidia RTX 3060 | AMD Ryzen 5 5600H | 1080p | 144Hz | 8GB RAM | 512GB SSD| was $999.99, now $729 at Walmart (save $270) This 15.6-inch gaming laptop is a nice entry point for gaming. It'll be tricky to get new games to run at high settings at 144Hz, but it's a solid rig for modest gaming.View Deal Acer Predator Helios 300 | Nvidia RTX 3060 | Intel Core i7-12700H | 1080p | 165Hz | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD| $1,499.99 $1,349.99 at Best Buy (save $150) At $1,349, this 15-inch Helios 300 is a little overpriced, even with the RTX 3060 inside it. However, this is the cheapest Acer gaming laptop you can find with these components. Acer Predator Triton 500 SE| Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti | Intel Core i7-10750H| 1080p | 300Hz | 16GB RAM | 1TB SDD| $2,399 $2,099 at Amazon (save $300) This 16-inch powerhouse has everything you want in a desktop replacement. It's got a powerful GPU, a speedy 300Hz display, and a large 1TB SSD. The best Acer laptops for gaming in 2022 1. Acer Predator Triton 500 The best Acer laptop for gaming 2022 CPU: Intel Core i7 10750H | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060–2080 Super Max-Q | RAM: 16–32GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1920x1080) IPS 144Hz | Storage: 512GB–1TB SSD | Battery: 84Wh | Dimensions: 10 x 14.1 x 0.7-inches | Weight: 4.41lbs Appetizing range of pricesTop of the line performanceThin profileSo-so battery life Once you get past the initial dread of its god-awful startup sound, the Acer Predator Triton 500 is hands down one of the best gaming laptops I've ever used. Small enough to fit in a backpack and light enough not to be a burden, it stuffs a 15-inch screen into a 14-inch frame for an RTX gaming experience that is, against all odds, both portable and potent. It doesn't have the strongest battery life, having conked out at less than three hours in our in-house battery test, but you can't expect to play intensive triple-A games unplugged for long anyway. I would have loved to have seen a model offering a 1440p (or even 4K) display, but the 15.6 inch, 1080p IPS panel, is a gorgeous, bright screen that's incredibly fast, which, more importantly, supports a 300Hz refresh rate. A 300Hz screen might seem slightly overkill, but don't say that to anyone playing Valorant or Call of Duty: Warzone competitively. I have trouble telling much of a difference above 240Hz, but I like having that option considering the hardware is capable. Though I will say it was tough to go back to playing Call of Duty on a 120Hz monitor after living in the buttery smooth world of 300Hz. That IPS panel technology also ensures that the color range is good, useful if you edit photos and videos, and needs decent color accuracy. If it weren't for a few glaring design oversights and a notable lack of screen resolution choices above 1080p, the Triton 500 would be a perfect machine. Still, it's a relatively inexpensive gateway to ray-traced graphics rendered in real-time, deserving of its place on the best Acer laptop for gaming power rankings. Read our full Acer Predator Triton 500 review. (Image credit: Acer) 2. Acer Predator Helios 300 The best Acer laptop for mainstream gaming CPU: Up to an Intel Core i7 11800H | GPU: Up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 | RAM: Up to 32GB of DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1920x1080) IPS 240 Hz | Storage: 1TB SSD | Battery: 48Wh | Dimensions: 10.5 x 15.4 x 1.1 inches | Weight: 5.95lbs Good performance for the priceRespectable build qualityRoom for three storage drivesAverage CPU performance Though it comes in 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch flavors, we prefer the 15-inch Acer Predator Helios 300, a budget-minded clamshell made for gaming in its many forms. They are all almost good choices despite being available in ten different configurations. The Predator Helios 300 is one of the better-performing mid-range gaming laptops, packing in plenty of power for under $1,500, which is not an easy task. The vast number of configurations even let you find a way to lower the price by skimping on inconsequential components (for gaming, at least), like RAM or a screen with a lower refresh rate; you can save yourself a hefty chunk of change. Another thing that struck me is that the Predator branding is now only located on the inside of the laptop. I get it; some people might be a little self-conscious using a laptop with the word 'Predator' on it in public. It's okay; the blue accents will still let people know you're a gamer, so no worries. The metal cover with anodized finish gives the Helios a more sturdy feel than in previous years, though I would have loved to have seen it all over the laptop instead of just the cover. The Helios 300 is a solid, lower-cost alternative to the Triton 500. It's worth keeping an eye out for simply because it offers great power at a thoroughly reasonable price. It's not maybe the thinnest or most portable gaming laptop around, but it makes up for that by being powerful where it matters most. Read our full Acer Predator Helios 300 review. (Image credit: ACER) 3. Acer Nitro 5 Best Acer laptop for gamers on a budget CPU: Up to Intel Core i5 12700H | AMD Ryzen 5 5900HX | GPU: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 | RAM: 8–16GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6 inches (1920 x 1080) | Storage: 256GB–1TB NVMe SSD | Battery: 47Wh | Dimensions: 0.94 x 14.3 x 10 inches | Weight: 5.7lbs Great pricePerformanceBulkyBad touch pad Your next machine (Image credit: Future)Best gaming PC: the top pre-built machines from the pros Best gaming laptop: perfect notebooks for mobile gaming An old colleague once referred to the Acer Nitro series as a gaming laptop good at hiding its power level. The Acer Nitro 5's magic trick is hiding a powerful mid-range gaming laptop inside the PC gaming equivalent of a sweater vest. Just because you're on a budget doesn't mean you have to miss out on playing some killer games on the go. The Acer Nitro 5 offers plenty of AMD configurations and Intel ones for little cash, and you can still enjoy 1080p gameplay at modest frame rates. You're generally in the realms of the GTX 1660 Ti or the RTX 3050 here, at least at the more affordable end of the Nitro 5 spectrum, but they're powerful enough for 1080p. And with the RTX 3050, you can even potentially enjoy some ray traced pretties with DLSS 2.0 support thrown in for good measure. If you're a student, the Nitro 5 has plenty of ports for all your accessories like portable hard drives, gaming mice, and other goodies without breaking the bank. Acer's NitroSense fan-control app ensures that your laptop remains cool during heavy usage. This means you can work on your lap without frying said lap. The touchpad can be temperamental; we recommend picking up a gaming mouse to complement this laptop. View the full article
  10. The best DDR4 RAM for gaming combines capacity and speed to run your games well. RAM is essential to your PC. Low latency RAM can help support all the tasks you do at your PC every day and make it so none of them force you to wait around for long. RAM is a great thing to upgrade in your gaming PC, especially if you haven't in a while. And best of all, RAM isn't super expensive. Most gamers will want either a 16GB or 32GB RAM kit inside their rig. Nowadays, you can get 16GB for relatively cheap, and it's a good investment over 8GB of the stuff. If you wanted to save some cash, you could now make do with 8GB and upgrade down the line. 32GB and above is considered overkill because most games won't make any use of it. Unless you're big on productivity tasks or just simply futureproofing, 16GB is the sweet spot. You will also want to prioritise dual-channel kits (kits with two sticks of RAM) to ensure you're getting the most out of your system. When it comes to speed, you want to look for DDR4 RAM that runs around 3,200MHz for Intel chips and 3,600MHz for AMD's latest offerings. This should give your CPU enough bandwidth cushion to handle gaming and work-related tasks. Consider a newer Intel processor and the best DDR5 RAM if you want high speeds over anything else. The good news is that there are plenty of affordable low-latency RAM kits out there right now, which is excellent for AMD Ryzen gaming PCs. Want to optimize your PC and get the most out of your RAM? Our handy RAM speed for gaming deep-dive should be the first thing you read. We've tested a bunch of DDR4 RAM kits and picked out the best ones for gaming at various price points. Best DDR4 RAM for gaming Image 1 of 4 (Image credit: Future)Image 2 of 4 (Image credit: Teamgroup)Image 3 of 4 (Image credit: Teamgroup)Image 4 of 4 (Image credit: Teamgroup) 1. TEAM XTREEM ARGB 16GB DDR4-3600 C14 The best RAM for gaming Speed: 3600MHz | Timing: 14-15-15-35 | CAS latency: 14 | Voltage: 1.35V | DIMMs: 2x 8GB Great for AMD RyzenSubtle RGBGreat priceExpected a little more from overclocking performance The Team Xtreem ARGB RAM kit we’re got here for review isn’t your standard DDR4 RAM, it’s one of the very few 3,600MHz kits that come with a CAS latency of just 14. That puts it at the forefront of low-latency RAM favored by gaming PCs, especially AMD Ryzen rigs. As such, it takes the top spot as our pick for the best RAM for gaming. Not all that long ago, a kit as well-rounded on both price and performance would've been a distant dream. However, a recent DRAM price crash and an increasing process maturity in DDR4 production mean kits such as this can often be had for around $100. DDR4 memory really is maturing nicely. Just a couple of years ago, a decent DDR4-3200 kit was regarded as high-end, but as time ticks on, 3,200MHz is now the baseline for a decent gaming system. You could even argue that 3,600MHz is the current baseline for Ryzen 5000 and Intel 12th Gen systems, for decent performance without any significant price premium, with 4,000MHz and above the new sweet spot. We think it’s a no-brainer, especially as this kit isn't that expensive. That's great news for anyone eyeing up AMD's Ryzen CPUs, which favor a memory clock around the 3,600MHz mark—thus ensuring the Infinity Fabric clock is kept at a 1:1 ratio with your memory and your chip ticking over happily with minimal latency penalties. A kit such as the Team Xtreem is pretty much optimal. So, how does it perform? As is always the case with high-performance memory, the benefits are application-specific. When compared to a common DDR4-3200 kit you do get the odd bump, though any benefit is hidden when you move to higher resolutions and graphical details. You will see the benefits if you want to extract every last frame with a high refresh rate monitor. High-performance memory is really only desirable when paired with a similarly high-spec system. That’s not to say a kit like this is a waste of money. If you’re going to drop $1,000+ on a graphics card, why not splash an extra $50 or so on some quality RAM to minimize any potential bottlenecks? We think it’s a no-brainer, especially as this kit isn't that expensive. Each DIMM features diffused RGB lighting that creates a glow-in-the-dark effect. And while that doesn't sound great on paper, it's surprisingly smart in the flesh. Each DIMM has a covering that diffuses the lighting across most of the module and the result is a subtle and understated look. Team doesn’t have its own RGB control app, but the kit can be controlled simply using various motherboard manufacturers’ software suites. If you want to eke out all your CPU has to offer and ensure your system looks fresh in the process, the Team Xtreem ARGB kit is a great option. Its DDR4-3600 speed and 14-15-15 timings offer a great blend of decent speed and low latency, without the steep price often associated with top-tier memory kits. Throw in the modules' appealing visual design and Team has a winner of a kit that deserves your consideration, particularly for AMD users. Read our full Team Xtreem ARGB DDR4-3600 C14 gaming memory review. Image 1 of 3 (Image credit: Corsair)Image 2 of 3 (Image credit: Corsair)Image 3 of 3 (Image credit: Corsair) 2. Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 32GB DDR4-3200 The best high-end RAM for gaming Speed: 3200MHz | Timing: 16-18-18-36 | CAS Latency: 16 | Voltage: 1.35V | DIMMs: 2x 16GB Ultra-bright Capellix RGB LEDsDominator DHX heat-spreadersAdvanced iCUE softwareModule height may cause clearance issues Corsair's Dominator Platinum has been one of the best gaming RAM kits for quite some time now. Its sleek exterior, patented DHX cooling technology, and unrivaled performance has made it a formidable flagship over the years. First teased at CES, Corsair is now introducing the new Dominator Platinum RGB with the same best-in-class performance and RGB lighting using the company's new Capellix LEDs. The Dominator Platinum RGB takes the same best-in-class performance as the original, and adds higher-clocked SKUs and 12 individually addressable Capellix RGB LEDs. The new LEDs are brighter and more efficient than previous iterations and are only available from Corsair. Combined with Corsair’s iCUE software, the Dominator Platinum RGB has become the best RGB option out there and also the best high-end performance kit. At a quick glance, the new design may look similar to Corsair's black Vengeance RGB series, but there are major differences in the lighting. The original Vengeance RGB features non-addressable LEDs, meaning the entire light bar could only be one color at a time. The newer Vengeance RGB Pro, on the other hand, features 10 individually addressable LEDs. Like the rest of the RGB lineup, the Dominator Platinum RGB is controlled via Corsair's iCUE software suite. If you have any other Corsair RGB products, you'll be able to import and synchronize your lighting profiles across all devices. We had some issues mirroring our custom keyboard lighting profiles, but the 11 different predefined lighting link settings worked perfectly. Overclocking was much more successful with the Dominator Platinum RGB. From a performance standpoint, the Dominator Platinum RGB lives up to its name. Each kit goes through a very tight screening process with hand-sorted memory chips to ensure maximum stability out of the box and generous overclocking headroom. This is a process Corsair has excelled at over the years, particularly with the Dominator series. The Dominator Platinum RGB is no exception. We received an 8x8GB test kit from Corsair for our quad-channel X299 bench and ran various tests using AIDA64, MaxxMEM, and games such as Metro Exodus and Apex Legends. Using the stock XMP settings at 3,600MHz, our kit performed right in line with the original Dominator Platinum and G.Skill's TridentZ. In general, there was only a small margin of difference in performance up to 5 percent between competing kits, but overclocking was much more successful with the Dominator Platinum RGB. We were able to achieve a stable 4,000MHz with ease while manually overclocking the kit. With a bit more tweaking and minor bumps in voltage, we saw upwards of 4,200MHz, something most competing kits have struggled with. This isn't too surprising, considering Corsair's plans to sell XMP-ready kits up to 4,800MHz. Even with higher voltages and under heavy load, the Dominator Platinum RGB never broke 60 degrees celsius. The price doesn't differ too much from the original non-RGB Dominator Platinum, but you’re still paying a hefty premium over some of the other kits mentioned in this guide. We still think it's well worth every penny if you can afford it, whichever capacity kit you go for. Read our full Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB review. Image 1 of 2 (Image credit: G.Skill)Image 2 of 2 (Image credit: G.Skill) 3. G.Skill Trident Z Neo 32GB DDR4-3600 The best RAM for gaming with an AMD motherboard Speed: 3600MHz | Timing: 18-22-22-42 | CAS Latency: 18 | Voltage: 1.35V | DIMMs: 2x 16GB High speed and high capacity RGB kitOptimized for AMD Ryzen buildsModest clock speeds and timings G.Skill’s Trident Z RGB RAM has been a mainstay of memory guide for years now, and it’s no surprise the company’s Trident Z Neo series has also earned a spot here. Like the original Trident Z RGB series, the Trident Z Neo comes equipped with brilliant RGB lighting done in a very tasteful manner. Each module has five individually addressable RGB LEDs that can light up any PC build beautifully. But the real sell for this memory kit is how it's optimized for AMD Ryzen. This set of Neo RAM from G.Skill runs at 3,600MHz, which puts it in the sweet spot for red team gaming PCs for low latency operation. As a result, this is definitely a more budget-friendly option for mid-range builds with some flair, especially if you can't afford to stretch to the Corsair Dominator kits. Similar to the overall performance of your Ryzen PC build, the Trident Z Neo offers a fantastic bang for your buck. You can get a 32GB kit for under $150, which means you can also easily upgrade your machine to an (admittedly unnecessary) 64GB of high-speed DDR4 memory down the road. If you're using your PC for more than gaming then perhaps that large pool of memory will come in handy, just don't expect much out of it for gaming alone. The Trident Z Neo comes in various speeds and configurations ranging from 2,600MHz all the way up to 4,000MHz. We recommend the 3,600MHz kit but you may find faster ones going for only a little more money. Image 1 of 3 (Image credit: G.Skill)Image 2 of 3 (Image credit: Future)Image 3 of 3 (Image credit: G.Skill) 4. G.Skill Trident Z Royal 16GB DDR4-4000 The best high-frequency RAM for gaming Speed: 4000MHz | Timing: 15-16-16-36 | CAS Latency: 15 | Voltage: 1.5V | DIMMs: 2x 8GB High frequencyGreat for Intel CPUsS H I N YNot super widely available Known for superb binned memory and high-speed kits, G.Skill's Trident Z Royal blends 4,000MHz (effective) operation with a highly stylized design. These DIMMs are just asking to be put center-stage in a showpiece gaming PC build—and it would be far from a slouch either. At DDR4-4000 with 15-16-16 timings, the Trident Z Royal kit is probably the perfect combination of high frequency, low timings, and broad platform compatibility. It does require 1.5V to operate at that spec—which is at the high end for a default voltage—but fear not, it will be able to run year after year. Best suited to high-performance Intel builds, the Trident Z Royal makes for the perfect high-speed pairing. This kit will keep your CPU fed with the data it needs at a rapid rate, and it comes out among the top in every benchmark we could throw at it. There's also room to overclock this kit if you see fit. This G.Skill Trident Z Royal kit comes equipped with the highly regarded Samsung B-Die IC, known for its ability to scale with voltage. If you have a good CPU memory controller and a capable motherboard, you’ll be able to push this kit well beyond its rated specification. We managed to push it to 4,400MHz without increasing voltage, although we were forced to lower the latency a touch for the kit to capitulate to our OC demands. The base Trident Z design hasn’t changed all that much in recent years, but it's never looked as good as this. The modules demand to be shown off in a windowed case and look every bit the premium kit with their stunning mirror-like silver or gold finish. Atop the modules are sparkling crystalline light bars with the requisite RGB goodness and the colors are especially bright and vibrant. Some might even say it’s too bright. As always, looks are subjective, but it’s difficult to describe this kit as anything other than stunning. The mirror finish might be a fingerprint magnet, but that’s only if you really must touch it, not that there’s anything wrong with that! The silver version we have here would add a touch of class to almost any build. Whereas you may want to choose a slower 3,600MHz kit for AMD Ryzen, the Trident Z is a great option for most other high-end PC builds that look as flashy as it's fast. Read our full G.Skill Trident Z Royal 16GB DDR4-4000MHz review. Image 1 of 3 (Image credit: G.Skill)Image 2 of 3 (Image credit: G.Skill)Image 3 of 3 (Image credit: G.Skill) 5. G.Skill Ripjaws V 16GB DDR4-2400 The best RAM for mid-tier gaming PCs Speed: 2400MHz | Timing: 15-15-15-35 | CAS Latency: 15 | Voltage: 1.2V | DIMMs: 2x 8GB Decent pricingGreat overclocking headroomSuper edgy lookin' Your next upgrade (Image credit: Future)Best CPU for gaming: the top chips from Intel and AMD Best graphics card: your perfect pixel-pusher awaits Best SSD for gaming: get into the game ahead of the rest The G.Skill Ripjaws V is a much more mundane set of sticks for your PC. That's not necessarily a bad thing, sometimes you simply want to stuff your budget system with some RAM and close it back up, never to be seen again. These Ripjaws are great for a capacity upgrade, or if you don't care much for flashing lights inside of your build. The G.Skill Ripjaws V is a second-generation DDR4 kit from G.Skill, and it's clear the company listened to the feedback and criticisms from the customers. This series is more affordable, faster, and has a less tacky heatsink than its predecessor. We found the 16GB Ripjaws V kit to be the best option for a decent capacity kit that features great performance right out of the box. The Ripjaws V did exceptionally well in our benchmarks without any overclocking, beating several kits in the 2,400MHz range. Despite this, you can still achieve an overclock to 2,800–3,000MHz with a simple bump in voltage. You might even reach 3,200MHz or higher, though you're likely to hit some stability issues. That's something to bear in mind with this kit though: because it's very affordable, it runs at a much slower speed that is ideal for modern systems. Ultimately, this memory will still function well in a gaming PC, but you might not get the absolute best performance out of your CPU as a result of the lower clock speed. With a reasonable price, however, whether running stock or overclocked, G.Skill's Ripjaws V is hard to beat. Best CPU for gaming | Best graphics card | Best gaming motherboards Best SSD for gaming | Best PC cases | Best gaming monitors Best DDR4 gaming RAM FAQ How much RAM do I need?We recommend a minimum of 16GB for most serious gaming PCs (it's what we use in our high-end PC build), but it isn’t too costly to upgrade to 32GB these days, thanks to prices stabilizing lately. That capacity will provide a hefty buffer if you’re inclined to multitasking, creative or intensive apps, or, y'know, heavy Chrome tab usage—check out our handy guide if you’re wondering how much RAM you actually need. How fast should RAM be for a gaming PC?Generally, we'd recommend you stick with two DDR4 modules for a dual-channel build, each with a minimum of 3,000MHz clock speed. That should ensure you're getting the most out of the best CPUs for gaming. With Intel, you can essentially settle for whatever the best kit you can afford is, while AMD Ryzen patrons will want to look a little deeper. Essentially you want to aim for 3,600MHz memory for Zen 2 (Ryzen 3000) chips. For Ryzen 5000 CPUs, it has been suggested that 4,000MHz kits are your best bet. When it comes to the actual performance you need, well, that's a whole different story. Bandwidth tests easily show the relative benefits of running faster memory (well, duh) but really that’s not what’s important. What matters is does faster RAM makes a real difference to your PC experience. The true answer is both yes and no, depending on what kinds of tasks you perform and the individual application or game. Generally, file compression sees a big benefit. Rendering doesn’t, but then some encoders, like our Handbrake test, show very decent gains. The gaming benefits when using faster RAM, however, are specific to the individual game. Some see benefits while others gain nothing. If you’re interested in the highest FPS, then you’ll definitely want to add some fast RAM to your system, otherwise you could be leaving a chunk of performance on the table. Will DDR5 work in a DDR4 motherboard?No, it won't. Even though both types have 288 pins, DDR4 and DDR5 memory is electrically incompatible. The two types have a different notch position, to prevent anyone from inserting a DDR5 module into a DDR4 motherboard, or vice versa. That means you'll need a newer motherboard and compatible CPU to run faster, newer DDR5 memory. Essentially you have to build a new PC for the new memory specification. Do I need RGB LEDs on my memory DIMMs?No. Absolutely not. But RGB can make your machine look that little bit cooler, and we all know PCs need to run cool. Jargon buster - RAM terminology DIMMs - Dual In-Line Memory Module, the physical circuit board that holds the RAM chips that plugs into the slots on your motherboard. ECC Memory - Error-correcting Code Memory, RAM capable of automatically detecting and correcting errors on the fly, generally used in highly sensitive applications, like scientific data collection or banking. Typically only used and supported on servers and workstations, most desktop boards can run it as non-ECC. Frequency - The effective speed at which the memory operates, measured in MHz. CL/CAS Latency - Column Access Strobe Latency, the delay between the memory controller requesting data from the RAM and the available data; the first number listed in a kit's timings. SO-DIMM - More compact DIMM slots typically deployed in laptops, although these can turn up on tiny machines as well. Timings - The measure in several memory clock cycles an operation requested by the memory controller will take for the RAM to complete. Lower is generally better. XMP - eXtreme Memory Profile, instructions for the BIOS that tell it what frequency, timings, and voltage to access RAM at, a shortcut for overclocking without tinkering with each setting individually. Officially for Intel platforms, many AMD boards readily support reading XMP data (though it may go by another name like A-XMP or DOHC). View the full article
  11. The technological marvel of Microsoft Flight Simulator isn't just the faithful recreation of the entire planet you can fly over, but also an accurate simulation of real-world weather you can fly through. If it's raining, snowing, or storming somewhere around the globe and you fly your plane there in the game, you'll experience that weather just as it's happening in real life, and in real time. The same goes for extreme weather events, such as Hurricane Ian, the massive Category 4 storm currently making landfall on the Florida coast after causing at least 2 deaths in Cuba and leaving the entire island without power. "You could fit #Charley inside the eye of #Ian."@JimCantore is LIVE in Punta Gorda, Florida showing storm footage and explaining the forecast: pic.twitter.com/OzAqbdlcQTSeptember 28, 2022 See more While Hurricane Ian is a serious threat, Microsoft Flight Simulator allows players a safe way to observe the storm and experience what it might be like to fly through such an extreme weather event. And virtual pilots are taking off to do just that, as they did back in 2020 when Hurricane Laura made landfall in the southern United States. a_lot_of_people_in_florida_for_hurricane_ian_it from r/MicrosoftFlightSim As you can see in the in-game image posted on Reddit by Unstopy, who appears to be on an aircraft carrier off the coast, Hurricane Ian has drawn a crowd of Microsoft Flight Simulator players who want to take a look at the storm up close and test their flying skills in the heavy winds. (If you're curious how Microsoft Flight Simulator sources its realistic, real-time weather, we've got you covered.) Some pilots are sharing videos of themselves flying above the hurricane's threatening clouds, such as JBTheExplorer, who also provided PC Gamer with the stunning screenshot at the top of this article while flying an F-16 above Ian. They've posted more amazing images on Twitter. Other pilots are attempting to fly their way right through the center of the storm in various kinds of aircraft, getting a close look at the clouds, rain, and even some harrowing lightning strikes. Granted, there is a bit of an odd feeling to the fact that a devastating storm is drawing virtual onlookers, almost in the vein of disaster tourism. Hurricane Ian is a massive threat to those in its path, and to have gamers flocking to it in Microsoft Flight Simulator while people on the ground are in genuine danger can feel a shade off-putting. On the other hand, it's an opportunity to observe the power of nature up close without risking your life, and curiosity about how the storm looks and acts in the simulation is understandable. If you or someone you know is in the path of Hurricane Ian, please visit the National Hurricane Center, as well as the NOAA's website for storm forecasts and safety information. View the full article
  12. Terraria was, once upon a time, a game about digging down: you started as a surface-dwelling weakling and mined your way to the planet's molten core, hauling the resources back up to build cooler and more elaborate tools and structures. That's still in Terraria, though after a decade of updates it's so much more, with quests and elaborate boss fights and expansive building tools and unique "world seeds" that change how the world is randomly generated. Today's Labor of Love update makes a huge number of additions, but the coolest may well be the Don't Dig Up world seed, which flips the game topsy turvy. Here's the description straight from the patch notes: "An idea first discussed during the release of Journey's End, Don't Dig Up turns the world of Terraria upside down—literally! The player will begin their adventure in the depths of the underworld, complete with all new flora to help provide early resources. "As the player ascends into 'The Up', however, the threats will magnify exponentially until they reach the Surface—a truly horrifying and inhospitable place that will test the mettle of even the most seasoned Terrarian. Rethink everything you know, but Don't Dig Up unless you are prepared for what comes next! The name is literal here. The surface now looks like hell, with a lava-filled backdrop just like the depths of Terraria would normally have. The enemies aren't late-game monsters, though: they're just nice little slimes. Nice little flaming slimes. You can only dig a short way down before you hit bedrock, which means the only way to progress is to go up. And the patch notes sure don't make it sound friendly up there. Creating an upside-down world is easy: just start a new world and type "Don't Dig Up" in as the seed. You'll know it worked pretty quickly. View the full article
  13. The idea of a successful live-service battle royale 'ending' feels a little odd to me, but that's what's happening with Call of Duty: Warzone, which received its final major update today. Call of Duty: Warzone launched in March 2020 and made an immediately positive impression, and has grown in the years since with new maps, operators, weapons, and even giant movie monsters. Interestingly, amidst all the major content and gameplay updates, Raven Software said in a blog post that what it's most proud of are the various quality-of-life improvements it's made, "and our focus on reducing points of friction in the core gameplay loop." Warzone is undeniably a success, but with Warzone 2.0 set to launch soon after the Modern Warfare 2 reboot coming in October, its days were inevitably numbered. Which brings us to today's mid-season update, the final major update to Call of Duty: Warzone. The update will kick off weekly playlist rotations featuring "classic and fan-favorite" game modes, expanded support for solo players, and the usual array of gameplay and quality-of-life improvements. The best part, though, or at least the most fun, may be the "Warzone Stories" calling cards, free for all players as a kind of memento of the glory days. Players who were around for the integration of Black Ops–Cold War in December 2020 will remember the community outcry around the wildly overpowered DMR-14. Now, you can remember it forever as a profile badge. King Grau! - The meta of all metas, the Grau 5.56 (MW) is one of the all-time great Weapons. Let’s celebrate its legacy as the true AR king that shall not be forgotten, or dethroned. (Image credit: Activision) Cracked Meta! - A meta remembered for varying reasons *ahem* is the “cracked” DMR 14 (BOCW) from the second year of Warzone. If you’re still a DMR 14 (BOCW) demon, then may this Calling Card represent you well. (Image credit: Activision) Eagle Child! - We loved this Reddit story. Whether you think it’s “Ego Challenge” or “Eagle Child”, we want you to feel represented either way. (Image credit: Activision) Big Fish! - Is it a mammal, or is it a real big fish? *Spoiler alert* Of course it’s a mammal, but we wanted those who are grossly misinformed to still feel represented. (Image credit: Activision) Pest Control! - We’ve all been there: Rebirth Island, Grandma’s house, there’s a rat hiding in the darkest corner possible. Show your pest control capabilities with this special Calling Card that is sure to put fear into every Rose Operator for a hundred miles. (Image credit: Activision) Swap-Seat-Snipe! - We have seen some absolutely incredible content come from planes, with one of the most impressive being the wealth of snipes from the passenger seat. Equip this Calling Card while sniping from 1,000ft up to show your opponents just how calculated it was. (Image credit: Activision) Naturally, there's also a final farewell from Butcher: Butcher's final transmission ?Prepare for Exfil. pic.twitter.com/rC0PuIoCbNSeptember 28, 2022 See more Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 is set to launch on November 16, a few weeks after the October 28 release of the Modern Warfare 2 reboot. Based on what we've heard so far, we think it could be pretty good. View the full article
  14. The best power supply (PSU) fuels your PC with the energy it needs to run your components. It's a simple part of your rig, but a crucial one that could become a real pain. The best PSUs need to keep up with power-hungry graphics cards and CPUs and they need to do it with a good level of efficiency. A good PSU should take care of all that work for you, and that's why it's important to find the best there is. Overly cheap PSUs aren't worth it, so we chose the ones you want to spend a little more on to know you're secure. Don't think of it as wasted cash, however. The best PSUs run flawlessly, are more efficient, and can be carried forward to future builds. That doesn't mean every PSU we recommend is expensive. They're not—some PSUs we love are only $50. There's just a big difference between a cheap PSU from a well-known brand and one from someplace else. Don't be worried about going over the top either—a few years ago, high-capacity PSUs were less efficient at lighter loads, but this isn't the case anymore. If you select a modern Gold or higher, it will be efficient at lighter loads, regardless of its capacity (which is good). Intel has set some low-load efficiency requirements with its newest ATX PSU spec (v2.53), with the bar now at 70% efficiency and 10W (<500W capacity), or 2% of its max-rated-capacity loads. Besides the low-efficiency requirements, Intel's latest spec includes some PSU timing requirements that address the Alternative Sleep Mode (ASM), the thing that allows the system's ultra-fast wake from sleep mode. Microsoft's Modern Standby is an ASM example. Although there are no ASM-compatible motherboards at the time of writing, don't forget that PSUs can last you for years, ready for when ASM does become mainstream. If you're still unsure about where to start when it comes to power supplies, don't sweat, we've tested dozens of PSUs, and handpicked our favorites, highlighting the sort of builds they should be in. The best power supply for PC gaming (Image credit: Corsair) 1. Corsair RM750x (2021) The best power supply for high-end graphics cards Manufacturer (OEM): CWT | Max. DC output: 750W | Efficiency: 80 PLUS Gold | Form factor: ATX12V v2.4, EPS 2.92 | Noise: Cybenetics A- (25-30dBA) | Cooling: 140mm Mag Lev fan (NR140ML) | Modularity: Fully modular | EPS connectors: 2 | PCIe connectors: 4 (on two cables) | Warranty: 10 years High overall performanceMagnetic Levitation fanFully modularTen-year warrantyHigh OCP triggering points on the minor rails Fan speed profile could be more relaxedIn cable capacitors The time has come for Corsair to make some changes to its popular RMx line of power supplies since the competition has gotten far tougher in this market segment from the likes of Seasonic Focus GX, XPG Core Reactor, Super Flower Leadex V, etc. Indeed the task's not easy since the existing RMx units only counted three years in production and delivered excellent performance along with dead silent operation. When you try to improve something that is already good, it's not uncommon for things to go wrong, but thankfully, this isn't the case for the new Corsair RMx range. The new Corsair RMx (2021) line consists of five models with capacities ranging from 550W to 1000W. The main differences with the previous models are: Magnetic levitation fan for an increased lifetime under high operating temperaturesModern standby compatibility for fast wake from sleep timesHigh efficiency under light and very light loadsThree EPS connectors with 1000W and 850W PSUs80 PLUS Gold certifications The new RM750x has a significant performance lead over its predecessor, although it loses average noise output to the older model's dead silent operation. Still, you cannot call the new model noisy because it achieves a Cybenetics A- rating, with its average noise output being close to 28dBA. The only area that needs a slight improvement is the efficiency under high loads, which is the main reason for the not-so-competitive average efficiency. Nonetheless, the efficiency under light loads is sky-high. Finally, the fan upgrade is a highly welcome feature. It boosts reliability, even under harsh conditions where most rifle and fluid dynamic bearing fans would have issues in the long run. With two EPS and four PCIe connectors in two cables, this PSU will be able to handle a powerful gaming system with enough oomph to cope with a GeForce RTX 3080. (Image credit: Seasonic) 2. Seasonic Prime Titanium TX-1000 The best 1KW power supply Manufacturer (OEM): Seasonic | Max. DC output: 1000W | Efficiency: 80 PLUS Titanium | Form factor: ATX12V v2.4, EPS 2.92 | Noise: Cybenetics A- (25-30dBA) | Cooling: 135 mm FDB Fan (HA13525M12F-Z) | Modularity: Fully modular | EPS connectors: 2 | PCIe connectors: 6 (all on dedicated cables) | Warranty: 12 years High performance and silent operationHigh-quality components and top build qualityFully modular12-year warrantyHigh OCP setting on all rails, especially the minor onesHigh inrush current with 115V Seasonic hit the jackpot with its Prime platform, which starts from Gold efficiency and goes all the way up to Titanium. Several high-impact brands have already used Seasonic's base platform in their own PSUs, including Asus with its ROG Thor 1200W, Corsair's AX line, and Antec with its legendary Signature line. If Seasonic could make more of these units, I would expect more brands to get in line to source them, despite their high prices. The majority of buyers prefer low-efficiency and more affordable power supplies, unfortunately. Still, when an OEM is confident enough to provide a platform with a twelve-year warranty, you know that this is a bullet-proof product. At light loads, the PSU achieves some of the highest efficiency readings we have seen. The Seasonic TX-1000 is a great power supply featuring top-notch build quality. Besides great soldering work, it also uses Japanese capacitors everywhere, including many polymer caps besides electrolytic ones and a fluid dynamic bearing fan. Seasonic's engineers did their best to offer sky-high efficiency under all load regions and silent operation, at the same time, along with increased reliability. Performance-wise, this PSU belongs to the top league since it achieves tight load regulation on all rails, it has terrific ripple suppression without using the annoying in-line caps, and its hold-up time is great. On top of that, the 5VSB rail's efficiency is high, and at light loads, the PSU achieves some of the highest efficiency readings we have seen so far. Another asset of the TX-1000 is that it has six PCIe connectors on dedicated cables. You won't have a problem powering energy-hungry graphics cards where the use of a single cable with two PCIe connectors should be avoided. (Image credit: Corsair) 3. Corsair CX450 The best cheap PSU Manufacturer (OEM): CWT or Great Wall | Max. DC output: 450W | Efficiency: 80 PLUS Bronze | Form factor: ATX12V v2.4, EPS 2.92 | Noise: Cybenetics A- (25-30dBA - CWT) | Standard+ (35-40dBA - Great Wall) | Cooling: 120mm rifle bearing fan (HA1225M12F-Z [CWT] or D12SM-12 [Great Wall]) | Modularity: No | EPS connectors: 1 | PCIe connectors: 1 | Warranty: 5 years Modern platformFull protections setRifle bearing fanFive-year warrantyNon-modular The lowest capacity member of Corsair's budget-oriented CX line is the CX450. All CX models are manufactured by two different OEMs: either Great Wall or Channel Well Technology (CWT), and each of which uses a distinct platform. The only way to tell them apart is their RPS numbers, reference designators given to each model. Both configurations have fixed cables to keep the price as low as possible. Nonetheless, they utilize modern platforms featuring LLC resonant converters and voltage regulation modules to generate minor rails and high-quality fans. It is rare to find such a modern platform in this price range. The weirdest part is that the Corsair CXM units—which feature semi-modular cables so someone could believe that they belong to a higher category—actually use a lower-performance platform. Between the two Corsair CX450 versions, the model made by Great Wall is more efficient than CWT's, especially under light loads, and has a more efficient 5VSB rail. On the other hand, it has a more aggressive fan profile, so its noise output increases. In the US market, you will only find the CWT version made in Vietnam instead of China, so it avoids the tariffs and keeps its price tag low. In other regions, the GW platform is also available. In general, the Corsair CX450, in both flavors, offers a high performance per price ratio, and it is an excellent choice for mainstream builds with embedded or low-power graphics cards. In this price range, you won't find such a modern and capable platform. Best CPU for gaming | Best graphics card | Best gaming motherboards Best SSD for gaming | Best DDR4 RAM | Best PC cases (Image credit: XPG) 4. XPG Core Reactor 650W The best 650W power supply Manufacturer (OEM): CWT | Max. DC output: 650W | Efficiency: 80 PLUS Gold | Form factor: ATX12V v2.4, EPS 2.92 | Noise: Cybenetics A (20-25dBA) | Cooling: 120 mm Fluid Dynamic Bearing Fan (HA1225H12F-Z) | Modularity: Fully modular | EPS connectors: 2 | PCIe connectors: 4 (on two cables) | Warranty: 10 years High performance and silent operationGood build qualityFully modularTen-year warrantyTwo EPS connectors on the same cable XPG rocked the boat with its Core Reactor line, an impressive set of PSUs using a competent platform provided by Channel Well Technology. XPG took the company's CSE platform and ensured it had exclusive rights, so you won't see another OEM using CSE (the platform's code name). So far, only major PSU brands like Corsair and be quiet! have exclusive rights in OEM platforms, so with this move, XPG shows that it has serious intentions for the best power supply market. It is dead silent, too, with close to 23dBA average noise output. The XPG Core Reactor with 650W capacity must face strong opponents, such as the Corsair RM650x, the Seasonic GX-650, and the Asus Rog Strix 650. Still, it manages to lead the race, and this is impressive. Especially as XPG hasn't been such a power in this market historically, it has apparently hired the proper people for the job. The Core Reactor 650 doesn't only achieve high performance, but it is dead silent, too, with close to 23dBA average noise output. Moreover, its average efficiency with 115V is close to 89.5%, leading to the Gold 650W efficiency category. Another significant advantage of this PSU is the compact footprint, which will make the installation process more manageable. The fully modular cables will also help in this too. Speaking of the cables, they don't have in-line capacitors, making cable rooting harder than it has to be. The only real drawback in this unit is the pair of EPS connectors hosted on the same cable. Usually, EPS connectors should be installed on dedicated cables for lower voltage drops and enhanced safety, but the platform didn't provide enough sockets for this. (Image credit: Corsair) 5. Corsair AX1600i The best power supply over 1KW Manufacturer (OEM): Flextronics | Max. DC output: 1600W | Efficiency: 80 PLUS Titanium | Form factor: ATX12V v2.4, EPS 2.92 | Noise: Cybenetics A (20-25dBA) | Cooling: 140 mm Fluid Dynamic Bearing Fan (NR140P) | Modularity: Fully modular | EPS connectors: 2 | PCIe connectors: 10 (on eight cables) | Warranty: 10 years Powerful with top performance in all sectionsHigh build qualitySilent operationSoftware controlSuper ExpensiveSmall distance between peripheral connectors The Corsair AX1600i was the first desktop PSU to use its cutting-edge power supply technology, but even several years after its initial release, few other PSUs utilize it. In short, the AX1600i uses a totem-pole PFC converter, utilizing GaN MOSFETs, which can offer up to 99% efficiency compared to the 96% efficiency levels that the most advanced conventional APFC converters can deliver. Okay, those are the technical details, but what you really need to know is that this is about as efficient as power supplies get. Besides the totem-pole PFC, the AX1600i also uses two Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs) to manage its circuits. A single microcontroller (MCU) is the communications bridge between the system and the PSU, allowing users also to control some vital functions of the PSU (for example, the fan speed profile and the selection between multiple and single +12V rails, setting up the OCP limits, etc.) besides monitoring tasks. The AX1600i is the worthy successor of the legendary AX1500i. Both units are made by Flextronics, using cutting-edge technology while offering the best performance that money can buy today, thanks to their digital platform. Besides being highly efficient, the AX1600i also offers outstanding load regulation, excellent transient response, long hold-up time, and excellent ripple suppression. Despite its high capacity, it remains impressively quiet in operation, thanks to the relaxed fan profile and a high-quality FDB fan. Finally, using the Corsair Link software, you're able to choose between three fan modes: performance, balanced, and quiet, so every user will be able to set the PSU according to his/her needs. You will pay a lot to get your hands on a Corsair AX1600i, but there is nothing else able to meet this PSU eye-to-eye when it comes to overall performance. (Image credit: Fractal Design) 6. Fractal Design Ion SFX 650 Gold The best small form factor power supply Manufacturer (OEM): Seasonic | Max. DC output: 650W | Efficiency: 80 PLUS Gold | Form factor: SFX-L | Noise: Cybenetics Standard+ (35-40dBA) | Cooling: 120 mm FDB Fan (S1201512HB) | Modularity: Fully modular | EPS connectors: 1 | PCIe connectors: 4 (on two cables) | Warranty: 10 years PowerfulHigh overall performanceFlexible and fully modular cablesTen-year warrantyAggressive fan speed profileSingle EPS connectorHigh inrush currents with 230V input Don't want to build? If PC building isn't part of your skillset, look at our guides for the best gaming PCs and best gaming laptops that can give you the most bang for your buck and save you a headache. More and more of the best power supply brands have expanded into the small form factor category recently, an area that has started to garner much greater interest from gamers too. A few years ago, SFF PSUs were niche products, but the introduction of elegant small chassis, and the desire for smaller systems, have increased the competition in this category. The first brand that took the SFF PSUs seriously was SilverStone, which has the richest related products portfolio. Fractal, meanwhile, had nothing to show in this category until it launched these SFX Gold units. However, using the term 'SFX' isn't accurate since both Fractal's Ion units follow the unofficial SFX-L form factor SilverStone first introduced. Because of the larger than SFX depth—by 30mm—SFX-L units allow for larger cooling fans and better airflow. That means they can have more relaxed fan speed profiles and be quieter than their standard SFX counterparts. On top of that, the larger PCBs allow for higher capacity units, too, up to 1000W. The Ion SFX 650G advantages over its Corsair SFX adversary are the larger, 120mm fan because it follows the SFX-L format, along with the highly flexible modular cables, which indeed make a difference during the cable routing and installation processes. Moreover, you will find an SFX-to-ATX adapter bracket in its bundle, which will come in handy if you want to use this PSU along with an ATX chassis. (Image credit: Corsair) How we test power supplies Besides the experience and vast knowledge of electronics, the evaluation of power supplies also requires insanely expensive equipment, which not everyone can get their hands on. On top of that, even if you have the proper equipment, you need to know how to operate it, and above all, you have to properly maintain it (AKA calibrate it in frequent intervals to ensure that your results are correct). This is why there are so few PSU reviewers, and even fewer can deliver good PSU reviews. The recommendations that we list in this article are based on data that we gathered using the equipment shown below: (Image credit: Aristeidis Bitziopoulos) We use top-of-the-line equipment to test power supplies, including Chroma electronic loads, Keysight AC sources, N4L power meters, Keysight and Picoscope oscilloscopes for PSU timing, and ripple measurements, along with other specialized equipment. We take complete readings at normal operating temperatures, 28-32 degrees Celsius, and under high operating temperatures (>40C), which expose the slightest problem that a power supply might have. Testing a PSU only at room temperatures doesn't provide the whole picture, and this is where most PSU reviews suffer. When it comes to noise measurements, besides a highly accurate sound analyzer, we also have a hemi-anechoic chamber at our disposal, with a close to 6dBA noise floor. The noise measurement's set-up is depicted in the photos below. Image 1 of 2 (Image credit: Aristeidis Bitziopoulos)Image 2 of 2 (Image credit: Aristeidis Bitziopoulos) The best power supply FAQ What PSU wattage do I need for my PC?You don't need a degree in rocket science to work out the wattage requirements for your system. The recommended system power requirement listed on the specs list for your current or future graphics card is a great place to start. Still, we recommend using an online power calculator to get the most accurate figure. OuterVision's Power Supply Calculator is our go-to. What efficiency rating is best for a PSU?Once you've found out the wattage you'll need for your PC, you'll need to decide what efficiency you can afford. Power supply manufacturers all tend to agree to the same PSU efficiency rating system: 80 Plus. There are six ratings to look out for with your PSU: Bronze Silver Gold Platinum Titanium An 80 Plus Titanium certified power supply is more efficient than a Bronze one, meaning the parts within waste less power (heat) during the AC to DC conversion. These are often measured across three load levels: 20%, 50%, and 100%. Most PSUs tend to be rated at their most efficient at 50%, although Titanium PSUs tend to perform just as well, if not better, under heavy load. Higher efficiency also means the internal components are subjected to less heat and are likely to have a longer lifespan. They may cost a bit more, but higher certified power supplies tend to be more reliable than others. Luckily, most manufacturers offer warranties. What do we look for in a PSU?Reliability, customer support, warranty, and manufacturer reputations are among the first things you should look for when choosing the best power supplies. Since there isn't exactly a single solution that makes sense for every build, we decided on several categories to fit the needs of most PC gamers. For each, we also took into account budgets, compatibility, unique features, and design. Our top selections were made based on a combination of the criteria listed above and overall efficiency ratings. While it isn't by any means the all-telling solution for PSU performance, the 80 PLUS certification program provides some form of standardization and expectations for efficiency. More efficient PSUs mean less heat and lower energy consumption. Do I need a modular PSU?It pays to future-proof against any upgrades further down the line. A modular PSU will allow you to add extra cables as needed or remove unused ones to free up valuable room inside your case. This is handy if you've got your heart set on a beefier graphics card or want the flexibility of being able to add other peripheral connections later. However, you can absolutely make do without, as even semi-modular or fixed cable designs will do the job just as well if only with a few extra cables lying around. You can usually tuck these into the back of your PC case to keep them out of your eyesight. As a word of warning, compatibility is a significant factor when it comes to power supply units. Using cables from different PSUs could put your entire PC at risk, so stick with those provided. Even if they are from the same manufacturer, not all PSU cables will be universally compatible either, complicating things further. If you absolutely must splinter from the cables included, have a look at your PSU's PIN connectors and make sure your cable set has ones that match to avoid any unnecessary frustration and breakages. View the full article
  15. During the Intel Innovation 2022 keynote, CEO of Intel and apparent push-up enthusiast Pat Gelsinger launched its 13th gen processors, more commonly known as Raptor Lake. The best of these processors, the Core i9 13900K, can hit clock speeds of up to 5.8GHz. And 6GHz is right around the corner. Intel has been talking big game about the performance of these Raptor Lake CPUs, with the Core i9 13900K leading the charge and potentially on its way to breaking some overclocking records. Intel is promising a model of the Core i9 that'll hit over 6GHz "out of the box" starting early next year, which Gelsinger calls an "industry first" and a "huge milestone for client computing." That's sure to be the Core i9 13900KS. Intel released its first 1Ghz CPU more than 20 years ago when Gelsinger was just the VP of Intel's desktop group. At launch, Intel has six 13th gen processors: three with onboard graphics (Intel's UHD Graphics 770) and three without. All are primed to take on AMD's Zen 4-powered Ryzen 7000 chips, which went on sale earlier this week. Expect to see the Intel 13th gen CPU family debut on October 20 with its K-series chips, starting at $294 for the Core i5, $384 for the Core i7, and $564 for the Core i9. Some good news is that pricing on these chips is mostly matching the 12th gen offerings, though it will be up to retailers to abide by these recommended prices come launch day. Intel hasn't given specific pricing or a release date for the 6GHz Core i9 CPU, outside of the "early next year" window, but it will be available in "limited volumes." We will be the first to let you know more once we do. View the full article
  16. Fortnite flips the table on haters by selling a 'dead game' shirt Something of an Epic comeback. There is a meme that afflicts almost all games that become big enough, and the biggest get it worst of all. Look at the responses when the League of Legends or CS: GO or (especially) Fortnite tweets out some patch notes or a new addition to the game and you will, invariably, find the same two words over and over in the comments: dead game. As with any language that acquires this kind of traction online, it's near-impossible to untangle the meaning from the mantra and the symbolism. The literal meaning should be a game where there's no significant player population, it's stagnant, and it's only a matter of time before the servers shut down. But usage of 'dead game' doesn't reflect this at all: in fact, it's applied to the most vibrant, populous and frequently updated titles out there. The phrase is used both humorously and as some sort of rebuke, and will appear regardless of the specific announcement: Fortnite could announce it was giving every player $100 for free tomorrow, and the first reply would probably be 'dead game'. While I wouldn't count myself as an active player of Fortnite anymore, I continue to admire the ambition with which Epic continues to build-out and add to this world. And now it's turned around, with all its reach and resources, and with a straight face has begun selling a character skin featuring a shirt that says 'dead game' (thanks, Polygon). *reads comments*designs OutfitResults: Checkered Past Pack. Available now! pic.twitter.com/mu7Fp5nfoXSeptember 27, 2022 See more The 'Checkered Past' pack has this skin for the player character Veronika, and you've just got to love the chutzpah here. It's also knowingly cheap, going for a mere 600 V-bucks, and comes with black nail polish and a checked hat, as well as a variety of other items including a skull that looks furious about its bones being checkered. I think I've still got some V-bucks and, next time I load the game up, this is gonna be the only way to play. There really is no better retort to 'dead game' than turning around and selling a virtual shirt with that printed on it, and knowing it will sell like hotcakes. GGWP Epic. View the full article
  17. Less than two months before its scheduled November 8 release, the oft-delayed Skull and Bones has been delayed again, to March 9, 2023. Development of Skull and Bones "is finished," Ubisoft said in the delay announcement, but it needs more time to polish and balance the game based on feedback from recent technical tests. "This is the right decision both for our players and for the long-term success of the game as March 9, 2023 provides for a suitable release window for this very unique new brand." "We’re very eager for you all to get your hands on Skull and Bones and dive in headfirst to the dangerous and exciting world of building your own pirate empire," Ubiosoft continued. "To give you the best possible experience we’ve decided to take a little more time to make sure we can deliver exactly that." It's been rough seas for Skull and Bones from the start. It was announced more than five years ago, in June 2017, but was hit with multiple delays beyond its original fall 2018 (!) release date, and eventually fell off the map almost entirely. It finally looked like real progress toward a release was happening this year, but the first-ever gameplay reveal in July didn't really knock my socks off. Given the underwhelming state of the game, I can't say I'm entirely surprised by this latest delay. Ubisoft also confirmed that a Skull and Bones open beta will be held prior to launch, but of course a date on that hasn't been announced. And even if it had, I would definitely mark it on the calendar with a pencil—you know, just in case. View the full article
  18. A lil somethin somethin: You can find the details for this event on the announcement page here.View the full article
  19. Greetings Inheritors! We will be conducting scheduled maintenance at the following times: Maintenance Start Time: UTC: Sep 29 at 08:00 am CEST: Sep 29 at 10:00 am EDT: Sep 29 at 04:00 am PDT: Sep 29 at 01:00 am Maintenance End Time: UTC: Sep 29 at 1:30 pm CEST: Sep 29 at 3:30 pm EDT: Sep 29 at 09:30 am PDT: Sep 29 at 06:30 am * Please note that the game will shut down before maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause. Thank you for your understanding! The ArcheAge TeamView the full article
  20. Wild Hearts is a new hunting game unveiled today by Electronic Arts and Koei Tecmo, but it's not a hunting game as you might expect: Instead of bears, wolves, and tigers, players will travel to the fantasy realm of Azuma to hunt "giant nature-infused beasts" ranging from mutant squirrels to a winter wolf called Deathstalker. Naturally, you're not going to go after these sorts of creatures with a Remington 12-gauge you picked up at S-Mart. No, you're going to need something special—specifically, machines called Karakuri that are created from lost, ancient technology. As you can see in the trailer, they're capable of some pretty impressive feats. Need to fly somewhere? Want a giant jack-in-the-box with a pop-up mallet that clocks monsters in the face? Maybe you're just after a big bomb? Whatever you need, it seems, the Karakuri can deliver. Swords, bows, and other implements of old-timey mayhem will fill out your arsenal. As for why you're going to all this trouble, it's not just for kicks and gross trophies. Azuma was once a peaceful place, where the Kemono lived in peace with the people. But now, for reasons unknown, they're on the rampage, threatening the world and those who live in it, and it falls to you to restore balance to the realm. The whole thing bears more than a passing resemblance to Capcom's Monster Hunter games, but Koei Tecmo vice president Yosuke Hayashi said that developers are aiming for a different sort of experience with Wild Hearts—although at this stage, the two games still sound (and look) very much alike. "With Wild Hearts, not only did we want to showcase the evolution, infusion and real threat caused by Kemono, but we also wanted to create a game where crafting was at the core of the experience, redefining what can be possible in a beast hunting game," Hayashi said. "We have placed great care in designing our Karakuri to fit within the combat, and we’re excited for players to use these powerful mechanisms to fight giant beasts and traverse the world." Have a look at some screens in the gallery below: Image 1 of 13 (Image credit: Koei Tecmo)Image 2 of 13 (Image credit: Koei Tecmo)Image 3 of 13 (Image credit: Koei Tecmo)Image 4 of 13 (Image credit: Koei Tecmo)Image 5 of 13 (Image credit: Koei Tecmo)Image 6 of 13 (Image credit: Koei Tecmo)Image 7 of 13 (Image credit: Koei Tecmo)Image 8 of 13 (Image credit: Koei Tecmo)Image 9 of 13 (Image credit: Koei Tecmo)Image 10 of 13 (Image credit: Koei Tecmo)Image 11 of 13 (Image credit: Koei Tecmo)Image 12 of 13 (Image credit: Koei Tecmo)Image 13 of 13 (Image credit: Koei Tecmo) Wild Hearts will offer solo and co-op hunting for up to three players, and support crossplay across all platforms: PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X-S. It's being developed by Koei Tecmo's Omega Force studio, best known for the Dynasty Warriors action games, and will be published under Electronic Arts' faux-indie publishing label EA Originals. That doesn't mean it's going to be cheaper than mainstream EA games, though: Wild Hearts on PC will be available on February 17, 2023 on Steam, the Epic Games Store, and Origin, at a cost of $70. An "extended gameplay reveal" is set for October 5. View the full article
  21. There’s a lot riding on Street Fighter 6. After a… lukewarm reception to Street Fighter 5 in 2016, fans eventually came around. An initial release with skeletal content, buggy netcode, and missing characters was slowly but surely stitched together. Bolstered by the release of the popular Champion Edition last year, the feeling in the FGC seems to be that Capcom’s OG franchise is hanging on, but just barely. With Tekken 8 and Riot’s Project L both potentially coming out next year, Capcom could really use a hit in Street Fighter 6. The good news for them is that early impressions seem to point toward exactly that. Stylish hip-hop inspired art, an 18-strong release roster, an ambitious-looking campaign mode, and rollback netcode have fans hyped. Here’s what we know. What is the Street Fighter 6 release date? We don’t have a release date for Street Fighter 6 yet, with official communication from Capcom telling us to expect it for PS4/5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC sometime in 2023. However, with the next EVO Japan tournament happening on March 31 and a flurry of new trailers this summer, we could expect it in the spring of 2023. If not, it's likely to land before the bigger EVO event held in Las Vegas in late summer. We’ll know more after the closed beta in October. How to play the Street Fighter 6 closed beta test Applications are currently open for the closed beta for Street Fighter 6, but you’ll have to move quickly: they close on September 30th. Hit the link to apply. The Street Fighter 6 beta runs from October 7-10, and participants can check out these features: Character creationRanked, Casual, and Battle Hub MatchesOpen TournamentsTraining ModeThe Hub Goods ShopDJ BoothPhoto SpotExtreme Battles, Game Center, and Challenges that update daily You have to be 18+ to apply and it requires a Capcom ID. Unfortunately, despite the game being supported on PS4, the beta will only be on PC and newer consoles. The characters available in the beta will be Luke, Jamie, Ryu, Chun-Li, Guile, Kimberly, Juri, and Ken. Street Fighter 6 roster: All the confirmed and leaked characters (Image credit: Capcom) Street Fighter 6 feels like a homecoming in a number of ways, not the least of which is its initial release roster. It features 18 characters at launch, the first eight of which are the crew from Street Fighter 2: RyuKenChun-LiDhalsimBlankaZangiefGuileE. Honda Then we have two other longstanding mainstays: CammyDee Jay Joining them are two younger returning fighters: Luke, the MMA fighter / undercut hairstyle master who rounded out Street Fighter 5's cast and serves as Street Fighter 6's protagonist Juri from Street Fighter 4, who's giving off goth Jinx vibes with her new design Rounding out the roster are 6 new characters: JamieJPLilyManonMarisaKimberly We don’t have a ton to go off for most of these guys just yet, but Jamie is a drunken boxer and breakdancer, supposed to be a rival for fellow undercut enthusiast Luke. Kimberly embodies the new entry’s vibe head to toe. She has a neon '80s ninja style replete with a Walkman, Naruto dashes off the walls with her super, and she chucks spray paint cans like ninja stars (at least in the trailer!). I was waiting for her to bust out a smoke bomb in a Bubble Yum canister. What about leaked characters? Four more characters were featured in a leak back in June that was acknowledged by Capcom, but they don’t appear to be slated for the initial release. They are: RashidEdA.K.I.Akuma We’ll probably see these characters in early DLC. Street Fighter 6 has a new World tour mode, and more Street Fighter 6 revolves around three sections: Fighting Ground, World Tour, and the Battle Hub. Fighting Ground contains your standard game modes for throwing down. Arcade, Online, Training, and Local Versus are all found here. This is your spot to get straight into the action whether you want to battle the computer, your buddy, someone online, or just train. World Tour is a new game mode that features heavily in the latest marketing. An open world experience, you get to create your own custom avatar and roam around Metro City doing… stuff? There’s not a lot of detail just yet, but the highlight from the trailers so far is training with some of the series’ longstanding characters. Sifu Chun-Li teaching you the spinning bird kick, wildin’ out with Blanka, and meditating with Ryu all look like awesome Street Fighter moments. I mean, if you’re gonna try and get stronger, you gotta hang with Ryu. He’s been roaming the earth doing exactly that since 1991. You'd think he’d have figured it out by now, actually. The Battle Hub is SF 6's social space. Here you can cruise around with your avatar, interact with other players, and launch Fighting Ground matches. Each Battle Hub can hold up to 100 players, and you can play some classic Capcom arcade games like Final Fight (or perhaps minigame versions of them) and complete with other players for high scores. The Battle hub will also let players set up tournaments and spectate on competitions. Here are a bunch of Street Fighter 6 trailers If you wanna catch the characters in action, there’s lots to choose from. Starting with a teaser back in February but really kicking off with the announcement trailer at PlayStation’s State of Play in June, Capcom’s been busy. State of Play announcement trailer with game modes, Chun-Li, Ryu, Luke, and Jamie. Guile gameplay trailer from Summer Game Fest. Introducing Kimberly and Juri: this gameplay trailer from EVO 2022 introduces us to Kimberly and her retro ninja antics. It also has Juri vamping it up KDA style with a full-on Akira slide. The trailer from this year’s Tokyo Game Show gives us a deeper look at the World Tour, including some sweet training montages from Chun-Li and Ryu. Gotta love a montage. Street Fighter 6’s World Tour opening movie finally gives us a shot of all 18 starting characters together. The hype! The Drive Gauge is Street Fighter 6's big new mechanic Capcom has tossed out Street Fighter 5's V-Trigger and built a new meter system that combines bits and pieces from just about every Street Fighter before it. The beating heart of Street Fighter 6 is the Drive Gauge, a system that influences everything you do and pushes the action forward. The Drive gauge has six bars (one for each Street Fighter, these guys thought of everything!). You spend the bars to do cool stuff, and lose it by blocking attacks or getting caught in a punish. If your gauge ever runs out, you enter Burnout mode and lose the ability to do Drive mechanics until it refills. In addition, you take chip damage from everything and get stunned if you get caught in a wall splat. Burnout is no bueno. To keep from burning out, you have to stay on the offensive. Throwing attacks and having them blocked by your opponent refills your bar, as does catching them in a Punish Counter—a new term for landing perfectly timed hits. If your opponent has started an attack but yours lands first, or if you catch them in a whiff recovery, you get a Punish Counter for extra damage and more Drive. Drive Mechanics In addition to keeping you away from burning out, your Drive Gauge can be used for all sorts of cool stuff. Drive Parry: Perhaps one day you, too, will have a Daigo moment. Drive Parry lets you parry your opponent’s attacks by pressing both mediums. It costs half a bar up front, but if you successfully parry your bar replenishes. Use this for timing counters, but watch out—if you hold it too long it’ll drain your gauge, and can be punished by throws.Drive Rush: Use one bar to execute a Drive Rush, which is a dash that can be used out of a normal cancel and is the heart of most of Street Fighter 6’s sickest combos.Drive Reversal: Similar to a V-Reversal from 5, this counterattack can be used after a successful Drive Parry.Drive Impact: A powerful wind-up attack with a couple hits of armor, this one looks satisfying. With pushback against blocks and armor up front, this move that costs 1 bar is the ultimate turtle solution. If your opponent tries to catch with a normal and your armor absorbs it, you get a huge slow-mo knockdown and a splat if they’re in the corner. Thump.Overdrive: A replacement for EX, this two-bar move powers up your specials and other attacks. Here are the PC system requirements Minimum specsRecommended specsOSWindows 10Windows 10CPUIntel Core i5-7500 | AMD Ryzen 3 1200Intel Core i7 8700 | AMD Ryzen 5 3600Memory8GB16GBGPUGTX1060 | Radeon RX 580RTX2070 | Radeon RX 5700XTVRAM4GB +6GBDirectX1212Storage25GB25GB Street Fighter 6 has built-in commentators In a move generally reserved for sports franchises, Street Fighter 6 will feature in-game commentators from the FGC. With confirmed appearances from the likes of Jeremy “Vicious” Lopez and Tasty Steve, they’ve confirmed six so far. Check ‘em out below. Modern controls will hopefully make Street Fighter 6 more accessible to new players Finally, the game includes a simplified controller setup for newer players that Capcom's calling “Modern.” Simplified from six buttons to three, it also gives the player input shortcuts for Drive Impact, Drive Parry, Throw, and Special. It also has a combo assist button. This feature seems like a great way to learn the basics, but will be limiting for more advanced players. Oh, and you can punch a bull Yep. In the Street Fighter 6 Bull minigame, if you drive impact the Bull, it knocks it down and sends it towards the enemy pic.twitter.com/9YMqiTlmR6September 28, 2022 See more View the full article
  22. I've jokingly told some colleagues that the old Neat Bumblebee looks like the microphone of a sci-fi intercom system. It was an out-there design I respected. And if you know me, I do love some goofy-looking tech. For the Bumblebee II microphone, Neat decided on a more modest design for its budget microphone, pitting against a competitive group of worthy noise recorders. Considering the charmingly bizarre design of the original Bumblebee and King Bee microphones, it's strange to see Neat go for such a modest design. I'm certain the new look has a broader appeal than the old look. But I guess if you want flashy, the new King Bee II is probably more up your alley. Neat's Bumblebee II elbows itself on the top end of the budget microphone field. Much like other mics at this price, features were given up to retain good recording quality, which usually ends up with the microphone just having a mute switch (if you're lucky) and not much else. So you can imagine my surprise that the Bumblebee II has not only a mute button but also a multi-use button that cycles through volume and gain, which is pretty unheard of for mics at this price. Despite its bigger size, the Bumblebee II's sound is on par with HyperX Solocast and Razer Seiren Mini mics, which isn't a knock against it. As you hear below, the quality of my voice is what I like to call 'work call' good. It's loud and clear enough for day-to-day use. If you're looking for studio-quality sound, you'll have to pay for it. Since plosives were on the loud side, you may want to invest in a pop filter. The mic is also good at picking up some background noise, so if you have an expensive loud AC unit, turn it off during recording. Again the mic's larger desktop stand size also affects its portability; other budget mics like the Seiren Mini and Solocast use small stands that make it easy to pack for recording on the go. If you're just planting this on a desk, it takes up an acceptable amount of space, but it's too cumbersome to toss into a bag and go. The stand itself has a nice circular base that looks good but isn't a shock mount, so the Bumblebee picked up every slight vibration and bump on my desk. While not a big deal in a Discord call, it will drive you nuts if you're trying to, let's say, record some vocals. The build quality for the stand is poor as well. Literally minutes after using the mic, one of the snap-on screw covers on the hinge that tilts the mic up and down instantly broke off. So now, every time I move the mic, the cover falls off, exposing the screw, which kills the look of the mic. This is unfortunate because I like how easy it was to install onto a boom arm. Bumblebee II specs (Image credit: Future - Jorge Jimenez)Condensers: 1 Directional Patterns: Cardioid Polar Pattern Controls: Volume and gain switch, mute button, headphone jack Recording Sample Rate: 96kHz Bit Depth: 24-bit Price: $100 I also take issue with the location of the USB Type-C port and headphone jack on the bottom of the microphone. The way the mic sits on the stand forces the cables to get tugged and pinched in a way that can't be good when trying to angle the mic where you want it. Even though the Bumblebee II MSRP is $100, it is regularly on sale for between $50 and $70 most weeks. For your money, it's a decently serviceable microphone that sounds good. Though every time I see that exposed screw, it becomes harder and harder to recommend regardless of how cheap and good it sounds. A shame considering how well it sounds compared to other budget, entry-level mics. View the full article
  23. With more and more of us spending heaps of time at our desks, the likelihood of funking up your mouse pad increased exponentially. Assailants such as pizza grease, soda, or other mystery stains are sure to make their way onto your mouse pad at some point, and as someone who's scarfed down an entire grilled cheese seconds before a video conference, I get it—sometimes food at the desk happens. Ultimately it means food on the desk will happen. Nothing is certain except death, taxes, and mouse pad stains. The right way to clean a mouse pad First off there, there are certain places to avoid placing your mouse pad, in case you were thinking of taking it off your desk to clean it. Don't hang it out to dry in the sun as the colours are likely to fade. It should not go in the dishwasher, washing machine or dryer—extreme suds and extreme heat are bad for rubber and plastic. There's been some debate on the appropriate way to clean a soft surface or cloth mouse pad. The reason I'm advising you to stay away from washing machines and dishwashers is that these kinds of mouse pads are easy to damage. Not all spin cycles are created equal, so even a low tumble setting on certain washers or dryers could warp and damage the rubber bits in a mouse pad (many cloth mouse pads have some sort of textured rubber base to keep the pad in place when in use). And the surface needs to be pristine and smooth for your mouse to properly glide over it without issues. Wisdom from Katie (Image credit: Future)Just a note about hydrophobic mouse pads, such as the one that comes with the Arozzi Arena gaming desk. I managed to completely ruin mine by using chemical cleaner (the kind you hoover off after it dries). Don't be me. Be smart like Jorge. Even if you own a machine-washable mouse pad, make sure you follow the manufacturer's cleaning instructions to the letter and exercise caution. Heat is also the enemy; the rubber used in most mouse pads has a pretty low melting point. This means sticking it in the microwave, blasting it with a hairdryer, or letting it spin around in hot water are all terrible ideas. Our best recommendation for cleaning a cloth gaming mouse pad is merely using a squirt of dish soap, warm water, a sponge or washcloth, and some good ole fashioned elbow grease to rub out the stain. Then air dry. If you're using a plastic or hard surface mouse pad, a damp washcloth should do the trick, since those are easier to spot clean. How manufacturers recommend you clean your mouse pad I asked two makers of comically large cloth mouse pads, Corsair and HyperX, about their mouse pad cleaning best practices, just to make sure this was the best approach. Both agreed on simple hand washing and that a washing machine is not a good idea. "Most people will use some soap and water to clean their mouse pads and then let it air dry," HyperX told us. "Putting it into the washing machine to clean is not recommended by us." "Very warm water, just a little bit of liquid dish soap in the sink," Corsair recommends. "Then just rinse it in cold water gently and not put it in the washing machine." Image 1 of 4 Don't cry over spilled chocolate milk. Here's how to clean your oversize mouse pad. (Image credit: Future)Image 2 of 4 1. Scrub with warm water and dish soap (Image credit: Future)Image 3 of 4 2. Rinse with cold water. (Image credit: Future)Image 4 of 4 3. Air dry for at least 24 hours (Image credit: Future) Recap DO Scrub the affected areas with dish soap and warm water in the sink Rinse with cold water Air dry for a day DON'T Shove it in your washing machineShove it in your dishwaterShove it in the microwaveUse intense fabric cleaner on it if it's hydrophobicPut in dryerUse a hair dryerLeave out in the sun View the full article
  24. Intel's entrance into the graphics card market has been a long time coming. It's taken so long, in fact, that you'd be forgiven for thinking it wasn't actually happening at all. Well, yesterday it announced the price and release date of the Arc A770. It also started the ball rolling on its XeSS upscaling tech. Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the first major title to get support for the tech, and thanks to its GPU-agnostic approach, you can try XeSS for yourself right now. Death Stranding Director's Cut also gets some XeSS love, although it doesn't seem to have been added to the standard game, which is a bit of a shame. I've looked at XeSS running in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and straight away it looks like a worthy alternative to Nvidia's DLSS 2.0. Slightly slower performance at the same visual settings, but not by much, and the fact that you can run this on non-Intel GPUs is certainly a boon. Like AMD FSR and Nvidia DLSS, you have a range of quality settings on offer—with the option to sacrifice image quality to hit smoother frame rates if needed. You will need a compatible graphics card to use XeSS though, that is one that supports DP4A or Intel's XMX as found in its Arc GPUs, but that's it. That covers AMD's RDNA 2 GPUs and the last three Nvidia architectures, although once again if you have an Nvidia GPU then that's probably your best option anyway. To see how it looks I patched Lara's most recent outing to the "Sept. 27th Update" and tried it on an Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti. The good news is it looks like a promising technology. The performance increase is notable compared to native and depending on your hardware, it could mean that you hit playable frame rates at your monitor's native resolution where before you would have struggled. It's really hard to spot the difference when playing yourself. (Image credit: Square Enix) (Image credit: Future) As far as quality is concerned, I saw no notable artifacts while benchmarking. The Quality setting produced a good final image and enjoyed a 17% bump in performance at the highest settings. For comparison the DLSS Quality setting ups the performance by 25%, so that's still the better choice if you have an Nvidia GPU, and it's tough to see any difference between the final images. This also gives owners of AMD's RDNA 2 GPUs an option for higher performance too. Of course, Nvidia has just announced DLSS 3 will launch with its RTX 40-series graphics cards, and that promises big things for frame rates. DLSS 3 only works with the new Ada Lovelace GPUs though, which limits its appeal somewhat. Intel has also made the SDK for XeSS available on Github. Overall, this is an encouraging start for Intel's XeSS. And with plenty more games set to support it, it looks like Intel should be good in a good place come October 12 and the launch of its Arc A770 GPUs. View the full article
  25. When Ubisoft recently announced it was pushing out not just one new Assassin's Creed, but four, I should have been pretty chuffed. I've been climbing historical landmarks and stabbing historical figures for 15 years and was still enthusiastic enough to put around 150 hours into both Odyssey and Valhalla. It's a series I like a great deal. But instead I found the news, and the prospect of many more Assassin's Creeds, exhausting. In games, just like every other kind of media, success is a trap. Good games beget sequels, which spawn yet more if the reception is good enough, on and on until the sales dry up. Few successes are allowed to exist on their own; they have to be a vehicle for more big releases, more profits. With Assassin's Creed, this state of affairs chafes a bit more than with, say, Call of Duty, because there's an overarching plot that keeps being stretched and stretched to maintain the cavalcade of DLC and new games. Apocalypse now and then (Image credit: Ubisoft) Assassin's Creed's first modern protagonist, Desmond Miles, sacrificed himself to save the world from an apocalyptic solar flare all the way back in 2012, at the end of Assassin's Creed 3. Nearly a decade later, new modern protagonist Layla Hassan sacrificed herself to save the world from an apocalyptic electromagnetic catastrophe at the end of Assassin's Creed Valhalla. The series is stuck telling the same stories over and over—the war between the Assassins and Templars, Abstergo's shenanigans, the world's imminent destruction. Despite this repetition, the story grows harder to untangle with each new game. It's incredibly messy, but the real issue is that the modern day stuff simply isn't very good, and Ubisoft definitely seems to realise we just want to travel back in time and have a holiday in Ptolemaic Egypt or England during the Viking Age. Thus, the overarching plot gets pushed to the peripheries, being given a couple of hours of attention compared to the hundreds spent with long-dead Assassins. The solution is not spending more time in the 21st century—it's concluding the story. It's run its course. Several times! And there needs to be a point to it all, narratively. After all these years, I want to know what Ubisoft's endgame is, but I don't think even it knows. I'm sure there's a list somewhere of possible destinations for the series, looking years ahead, and story beats that are being considered, but I don't believe it's working towards a conclusion. As long as it keeps generating money and seducing yet more players, it will continue until the world actually ends. For real this time. Or at least until Ubisoft comes up with something else just as successful. (Image credit: Ubisoft) All these announcements are quite telling: Ubisoft is heavily investing in Assassin's Creed because it's not having much luck elsewhere. Beyond Good & Evil 2 seems destined to be vapourware forever, Hyper Scape was shut down after less than two years, most people probably don't know Roller Champions even exists, and while Skull and Bones is finally launching in November, it doesn't look like it will make much of a splash. Far Cry is still around, but even it seems stuck in a rut these days, with the series seemingly unable to showcase anything that feels meaningfully new or creative. At least there's Rainbow Six Siege. Ubisoft's reputation has also taken a significant hit, and rightly so: 2020 saw several allegations surface that accused the publisher of having deep-seated cultural problems that allowed senior employees to discriminate, harass and bully without consequences. The fallout from this included several resignations and terminations, but in July of this year, A Better Ubisoft, an internal group that was created to campaign for better working conditions, claimed that its demands had not been met. With all the bad press and a slew of games that hardly set the world aflame, it makes sense that the publisher would cling onto its one sure thing. Assassin's Creed is a safe bet, especially when there are folk like myself, who are largely tired of the series but still willing to spend hour after hour exploring 9th century England. The neverending story (Image credit: Ubisoft) Look, I will absolutely play some of these new Assassin's Creeds. While the story feels stuck in a loop and the underlying structure of the series hasn't changed all that much, it's not like it never offers anything new. Starting with Origins, it began pivoting from stealth game to RPG, a change that was fully embraced in Odyssey and continues in Valhalla. This has changed how character progression and combat works, and the addition of so much more story, thanks to the quests peppering the world, has been very welcome. But I still want it to end. It's not just that the series deserves a conclusion—I do, too. I've foiled countless plots, murdered countless Templars, and I feel like I've earned the right to watch Abstergo's destruction. This isn't James Bond, with its infinite rogue's gallery and constant reinventions; it's a cohesive story—at least it's meant to be—with the same set of antagonists working towards their nefarious goal. But without an end in sight there are no stakes, and I increasingly feel obligated to play to keep up with a story I was once invested in, hoping that it will all pay off eventually, even though I know it probably won't. (Image credit: Ubisoft) What was once planned as a trilogy has now introduced concepts like the necessity of the Assassin-Templar war, which Odyssey indicated was essential to the survival of Earth. And Earth, it turns out, has been targeted for destruction, and will keep facing extinction events that the Assassins will need to circumvent. Odyssey and Valhalla have set things up so that there will always be an excuse for a new game. Hence, Assassin's Creed Infinity. Unfortunately, just like Abstergo, capitalism is a cockroach that won't give up, demanding constant growth, constant expansion, and the work of the Assassin's won't be over until the success turns into failure. It's a sad state of affairs: we won't get a finale until Assassin's Creed stops entertaining people. View the full article
  26. Kids on Reddit have been telling tales of using OpenAI's Playground to get straight A grades in their homework. It's no secret, but when someone asked the same AI its thoughts on how it was used in this schoolyard cheating scheme, it actually made some pretty good arguments against its own use. A kid on Reddit says he uses OpenAI to get A's on his homework. When asked on ethics, the same AI responds below. @OpenAI pic.twitter.com/dltIuRaMPESeptember 26, 2022 See more This tweet from MIT's Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), shows OpenAI's answer to the following prompt: "Explain the moral and social issues with using AI to do your homework." Spoiler: it's one of resounding negativity. "They may not be learning the material as well as they could be," the AI writes. "This could lead to problems down the road when they are expected to know the material for exams or real-world applications. "Additionally, using AI to do homework could lead to cheating." No sh*t. Unless you've been assigned a project specifically about using AI for school, it's definitely cheating. Maybe not if you're only using it to help generate ideas, rather than writing entire essays. I did find a couple of references to using AI for homework across Reddit, along with a few questions about how helpful it might be from prospective cheaters, but one Reddit post sticks out as the post MIT was potentially referencing. Urdadgirl69's post, headlined "Artificial Intelligence allows me to get straight A's," talks about using the tool to write essays, answer questions about movies and books for school projects, and even making "$100 profit by 'doing' homework for other classmates," they say. "Now I am looked at as a genius." OpenAI's Playground tool is an AI training platform that allows users to create and train AI models. It's often used by researchers and developers to experiment with new AI models and applications. Now the kids have cottoned on, they're using it to turn a profit among classmates it seems. It's a diamond hustle for sure, but as the AI explains "It could create an unfair advantage over other students who are doing their homework on their own." Imagine half the kids in class suddenly shifting from Ds to As in a single week. A bit sus if you ask me, and you'd hope the teacher would realise something was up. Here's what the Playground text-davinci-002 model AI gave us, as part of a request for an article about kids using AI to do their homework: "The implications of using AI to do your homework are far-reaching. For one, it could lead to a future where AI is used to do all kinds of things that humans currently do, including things like homework. Your next machine (Image credit: Future)Best gaming PC: The top pre-built machines from the pros Best gaming laptop: Perfect notebooks for mobile gaming "This could lead to a future where humans are no longer needed to do things like homework, and instead AI does it all. This could have a major impact on society, as it would likely lead to large-scale unemployment and a decrease in the quality of life for many people. It would also have a major impact on education, as it would likely lead to a decrease in the need for human teachers." Then it took a surprisingly positive turn, and it wasn't as doom and gloom as when MIT asked it a similar question. "It could free up a lot of time for people who currently spend a lot of time doing homework. It could also lead to better grades for people who use AI to help with their homework." Although I'm sure teachers will have something to say about it, the AI isn't wrong. Still, it's imperative for us to have these conversations right now as there's a very real fear arising about the idea that humans could end up supplanted by AI. Artificial intelligence has already been giving people unfair advantages in art competitions, and the moral implications are far reaching. But that's a discussion for another time. View the full article
  27. Earth from Another Sun is a space MMO-slash-FPS that's just dropped a new trailer, and as you can see it's stuffed with bright pink mechs and gloriously lush vistas. At the start of it I was just thinking 'wow, this has shown me more to get excited about than Starfield has' and by halfway through when the mech-em-up action started, I was sold. Yeah who knows how it will turn out, but this looks bombastic, fun, and has battles on an epic scale (it claims up to 1000 participants in one conflict). The game is in development at Multiverse studio and we'll know soon enough whether it's worth getting hyped for: there will be a demo available as part of Steam Next Fest over Oct 3rd-10th, which comes with various cosmetic bonuses for trying it out. Now, there is a downside. Or there might be. Earth from Another Sun's official site uses the 'b' word quite a few times—this is a game that uses blockchain technology, though it's not enormously clear what it's using it for. It does link it to the player creation tools ("With our design tools, you'll be able to create new characters, quests, loot items, art assets, towns, and even new planets") so expect a marketplace of some kind. I guess there has to be a good blockchain-based game at some point but, yeah, this is the one thing that makes you wonder. What you'll actually be doing in the game seems, from the developer descriptions anyway, to be more-or-less everything. Building your own space army is an obvious starting point, and yes I'll have a dozen skyscraper-sized mechs thanks, but you also undertake missions for reputation, wealth, and build diplomatic clout between various factions. You can be a pirate, which is obviously the way to go, or be a good little space captain and defend civilisation as we know it. There also seems to be a considerable Destiny influence here in terms of the shooting activities, with emphasis on PvE missions like co-op dungeons and asteroid mining (if this game manages to make asteroid mining sexy then it has achieved more than any space game in history). View the full article
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