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Written by Dave Bagnall on Sunday, May 31st, 2015

The new flagship GeForce GPU is an amazing upgrade for gamers who haven’t yet jumped to a Maxwell GPU.

In fact, the GTX 980 Ti is up to 3X faster when compared to a GTX 680.

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The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti.

It features 6GB of memory and enough CUDA cores to drive games at 4K. That makes it great for 4K gaming, and great for future games, too. The GTX 980 Ti also features support for Microsoft’s next-generation DirectX 12 graphics application programming interface.

We’ve supercharged all our GTX 900-series Maxwell GPUs with DX12 features that unlock the full promise of the new API. All Maxwell GPUs support DX12, including support for conservative raster and volume tiled resources. This means developers can do more with their games on Maxwell than on any other GPU.

Cool, Quiet, Compact

Your games will be more immersive. They’ll run faster. And they’ll look better. And with a design that sips power rather than gulps it, gamers get quiet, cool operation. Noise or heat will never become a distraction. And, for those with space constraints, you can even use GTX 980 Ti in a small form-factor PC.

Industry analysts are predicting there will be more than 350 million PCs running Windows 10 within the first year of its release. That’s a lot of potential gamers. And with more than 100 developers working on DX12 games, now’s the perfect time to get ready.

– See more at: http://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2015/05/31/nvidia-geforce-gtx-980-ti/#sthash.tIWiR35z.dpuf

Tech head of a UK YouTube Technology Channel known as DaveChaos
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Written by Ex0du5_2169 on Monday, May 25th, 2015

Light them up however you like!

There are many things that can be said about a customisable lighting setup, especially in your keyboard. This is, of course, becoming increasingly popular, not only can you see your keys in a darkened room, but the aesthetic value of nicely coloured keys can sometimes be the difference between a rage quit and a face palm!

Talking in regards to the Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Chroma; the process of setting up your favourite layout isn’t bad, just grab Razer Synapse and get to work. Although it can get irritating, for example, my main gripe is that it doesn’t seem to store your layout locally, it’s floating up there on the cloud, which means Synapse wants to sync every time it’s started (extending loading times), which it has to be if you want your layout loaded, otherwise you’re stuck with colour cycling. It also wants to update the Synapse software fairly regularly, while this isn’t an issue normally, it also wants to restart the machine after some updates. I would say this is a simple oversight but I really cannot get my head around why such a decision was made at all, and don’t get me started with the difficulties of having multiple profiles.

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With my little rant out of the way, let us look at the keyboard itself and what it brings to the table, as so to speak.

Razer™ Mechanical Switches with 50g actuation force
60 million keystroke life span
Chroma backlighting with 16.8 million customizable color options
Razer Synapse enabled
10 key roll-over anti-ghosting
Fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording
5 additional dedicated macro keys
Gaming mode option
Audio-out/mic-in jacks
USB pass-through
1000Hz Ultrapolling
Braided fiber cable
Approximate size: 475mm/18.72” (Width) x 171mm/6.74” (Height) x 39mm/1.54” (Depth)
Approximate weight: 1500g/3.31lbs

An impressive specification list indeed, but what is it like to use? It’s comfortable despite not having an integrated rest, not a problem. The keys feel good to use; you don’t need to put huge amounts of pressure on them, just as advertised. It’s easy to customise once you get past the issues with Synapse; mine is currently a lovely mix of red and purple. Everything else works just as you would imagine, everyone has a preference when it comes to peripherals and while this may not be for everyone, it is certainly a good all round device.

Take a look at the promotional video below for a little more information.

I’ve been writing for Dave for a few years now and I love it, there is always something new to research and test! I hope you enjoy my work!

Before writing I worked in IT for around 11 years and have been an avid gamer for much, much longer. I tend to enjoy everything except sports games, but I’m not above testing them if they’ve tried something new. Give me a Space 4x any day of the week!

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Written by Dave Bagnall on Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

Razer™, a world leader in connected devices and software for gamers, today unveiled its Razer Leviathan elite gaming and music sound bar. The new device provides premium quality audio for a wide range of entertainment applications, from desktop listening to home theater sound that’s perfect for gaming, movies and music.

The Razer Leviathan’s 5.1 surround sound mode is ideal for gaming and movies. It also features a wireless music streaming mode via Bluetooth 4.0 for seamless music listening. The Razer Leviathan is able to deliver deep, powerful bass tones through a dedicated subwoofer, distinguishing it from other sound bars in its range that cannot produce lower frequencies as accurately.

Engineered for versatility, the Razer Leviathan can be repositioned easily for any situation – under any desktop monitor, in a living room console setup, or wherever high-fidelity sound is desired.

“The opportunity to produce a precision-engineered surround sound solution for high-performance gaming, movie watching and music listening, and make it versatile to use in any setting, was a very exciting proposition for us,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO.  “The Razer Leviathan delivers what music aficionados, movie buffs and gamers alike are looking for to improve their entertainment setup.”

Rich, full-range 5.1 virtual surround sound is produced by the award winning Dolby Virtual Speakers in the Razer Leviathan. The sound bar features four finely tuned drivers (two 2.5-in. full-range drivers and two 0.74-in. tweeters) that are optimized for surround sound gaming. Regardless of source type (stereo or multichannel audio via optical input), Dolby® Digital will convert audio from a sound card, console or set-top box into a virtual surround sound stage. The result is an immersive aural experience that is perfect for recreating epic in-game battle scenes or simply enjoying favorite movies scenes.

The Razer Leviathan seamlessly connects to other Bluetooth devices in wireless music streaming mode via Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX technology for audio quality virtually indistinguishable from a wired connection. With a connecting range of up to 10 meters, music can be enjoyed without the hassle of wires. The Razer Leviathan also remembers recently paired devices, allowing users to quickly connect with a single tap, and built-in NFC technology allows for ultra-fast pairing.

The Razer Leviathan delivers chest-thumping, deep impact lows by way of a powerful 5.25-in. downward firing subwoofer that is dedicated to accurate bass reproduction and is tuned to produce distortion-free lower tones. Crystal clear mids and impressive highs are delivered by the two precision-tuned, full-ranged drivers and tweeters, rounding-out the full spectrum of frequencies created by the sound bar.

For more information on the Razer Leviathan – Elite Music & Gaming Sound bar, please visit www.razerzone.com/gaming-audio/razer-leviathan

FEATURES:

  • Powered by 4 expertly tuned drivers plus subwoofer
  • 5.1 virtual surround sound powered by Dolby Virtual Speakers, Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic® II
  • Direct audio streaming from any mobile device via Bluetooth v 4.0 aptX
  • Dedicated subwoofer for impressive bass reproduction
  • Space-saving design for versatility
  • Multiple connection methods via analog, optical or Bluetooth v 4.0 aptX
  • Adjustable tilt angles (0⁰, 15⁰, 18⁰) for optimal sound
  • 3 preset equalizer modes tuned for gaming, music and movies

TECH SPECS:

Sound bar

  • Total power output: 30 W (15 W x 2 RMS)
  • Full range drivers: 2 x 2.5 in. / 63.5 mm
  • Tweeter drivers: 2 x 0.74 in. / 19 mm
  • Impedance: 8 Ω
  • Frequency response rate: 180 Hz – 20 KHz
  • Approximate weight: 4.4 lbs. / 2 Kg

Subwoofer

  • Type: Passive
  • Total power output: 30 W RMS
  • Full range drivers: 5.25 in. / 133 mm
  • Impedance: 8 Ω
  • Frequency response rate: 20 Hz – 180 Hz
  • Approximate weight: 6.6 lbs. / 3 Kg

– See more at: http://www.razerzone.com/press/detail/press-releases/razer-introduces-leviathan-sound-bar-for-surround-sound-gaming-movies-and-wireless-music-streaming#sthash.B9Y1y9Uv.dpuf

Tech head of a UK YouTube Technology Channel known as DaveChaos
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Written by Dave Bagnall on Friday, May 22nd, 2015

New MixAmp™ Pro TR Delivers Dramatic Improvements with Digital Components, Command Center Software, Customizable Stream Output and Much More

SAN FRANCISCO Oct. 13, 2015 – ASTRO Gaming, creators of premium video gaming equipment, announced that its exciting new Tournament Ready (TR) series of gaming audio products are now available.  The ASTRO Gaming TR lineup includes a redesigned ASTRO Gaming A40 TR Headset that enables this award-winning product to be compatible with the studio’s newASTRO Gaming Mod Kits , a collection of interchangeable parts that enable the headset to adapt to any gaming environment.  In addition, ASTRO has delivered exciting improvements to the ASTRO Gaming MixAmp™ Pro TR making it an essential piece of gaming hardware for pro players, serious gamers and livestreamers alike.

ASTRO Gaming TR Series products are the official Audio Gaming Headset Brand of Call of Duty®: Black Ops III from Activision and Treyarch.  A Call of Duty: Black Ops III branded Mod Kit will be available in early November to provide fans of the franchise with the ability to modify their A40 TR headset to add the iconic Black Ops III logos and graphics. Call of Duty: Black Ops III is scheduled for release on November 6.

What’s New with the MixAmp Pro TR?

ASTRO Gaming’s patented MixAmp has long been a critical audio component for pro gamers and livestreamers alike.  Its ability to facilitate gaming communication between professional gamers and casters has made it the pro standard since its release. The ASTRO Gaming MixAmp Pro TRrepresents a big step forward technologically, offering tremendously increased user control to both gamers and livestreamers alike.

The ASTRO Gaming MixAmp Pro TR features include: all new digital circuitry delivering interference-free gaming and >1ms delay time; fully supports PC and Mac gaming with improved Game-to-Voice balance and USB soundcard connectivity; Customizable Stream Output, which can deliver Dolby Headphone Surround encoded output; an AUX input that now allows in and out communication; digital daisy chaining for lag-free local voice chat; and, the new ASTRO Gaming MixAmp Pro TRworks with every ASTRO headset ever made.

For the first time, the new ASTRO Gaming MixAmp Pro TR is offered in specific editions for PS4 (black) and Xbox One (white). Both offer USB soundcard functionality on PC and Mac. For Xbox One users, the MixAmp Pro TR no longer requires a chat cable of any kind, delivering all voice chat via USB.

Finally, the ASTRO Gaming MixAmp Pro TR works with the new ASTRO Command Center software, a free downloadable tool that will allow customization of every MixAmp TR setting and the creation of personalized EQ profiles.  Additional capabilities include:

·         Customize EQ settings that can be stored, shared and easily loaded onto the MixAmp Pro TR

·         Customize outgoing voice chat with adjustments for mic level, noisegate and sidetone

·         Customize stream output for the precise mix of game sound and voice chat desired, including two-channel Dolby Headphone Surround Sound output

So, What Are ASTRO Gaming Mod Kits?

ASTRO Gaming Mod Kits provide gamers with an opportunity to both customize and personalize their audio experience like never before. Each Mod Kit includes a highly sensitive Voice-Isolating Mic to better combat excess noise in noisy gaming environments; Noise-Cancelling Ear Cushions reduce background noise; Closed-Back Speaker Tags which utilize a silicone baffle to completely close the headset off and further reduce background noise; and, a Leather Headband for additional comfort and style.

ASTRO Gaming Mod Kits can dramatically change the functionality of the ASTRO Gaming A40 TR Pro-Gaming Headset , making it the only gaming headset available today that converts between closed-back and open-back performance. Mod Kits make the headset a much more versatile pro-gaming audio solution, be it at home in a quiet room or at the raucous and sound-filled finals of a Call of Duty® tournament .

ASTRO Gaming Mod Kits are sold separately for $60 and are compatible with the ASTRO Gaming A40 TR Pro-Gaming Headset . They will be available in early November.

ASTRO Gaming’s new TR Series A40 headset and MixAmp Pro are now available from directly from ASTRO Gaming as well as Amazon, Best Buy and Gamestop, featuring the ASTRO Gaming A40 TR Headset ($150 USD);  the ASTRO Gaming MixAmp Pro TR ($130 USD);  and the ASTRO Gaming A40+MixAmp Pro TR bundle ($250). ASTRO Gaming Mod Kits ($60 USD) will also be available from all retailers in early November.  For more information about ASTRO Gaming or the new TR Series, please visit www.astrogaming.com /tr.

Tech head of a UK YouTube Technology Channel known as DaveChaos
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Written by Ex0du5_2169 on Monday, May 4th, 2015

You really can teach an old dog new tricks!

I clearly remember playing Elite on the old Acorn Electron, those lovely polygons drawn in wireframe, not quite knowing where the dock was on the stations, yeah, that brings back memories. Back in the now, we have Elite: Dangerous, a modern nod to the old classic and my goodness is it pretty! Gone are the polygons and clunky play style, in is the fluid movement, customisation, faction relations and a good deal more besides!

While on the outside it may seem as complex as the X series of games; once you set up the controls just as you like them; you will find a highly playable, polished product that immerses you in it’s living universe with open arms! I do suggest using a joystick, while I’m not in a position to recommend a new one, I did dust off my old Cyborg 3d Gold and it still works a treat (like anything else: remember to calibrate it first). Saying this, it is more than possible to play with a keyboard and mouse, and some may prefer it, a joystick will do the game the justice it deserves.

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I will recommend playing even a little of the tutorial/training missions (a module you can choose to download separately using the launcher) as this will at least give you a fighting chance when you first jump in. Personally, balancing the power distribution on my systems was a pain at first, it can mean the difference between life and death. I feel this may have been a unnecessary addition, however, it has it’s merits and can give you the edge you need to survive a dogfight and earn those extra credits you need.

While the core game is based on a massively multiplayer system, there is the option to opt out and play in a private group with friends, this means no PvP action or player interaction besides those in your group, a brilliant touch for those as anti-social as I tend to be. This doesn’t mean the AI will be any more friendly, on the contrary, they can be rather vicious, so choose your fights wisely!

On the whole I would say Elite: Dangerous ticks all the boxes and has a great soundtrack to boot (which is available to buy separately: digitally and on CD)! I will warn you, it is rather time consuming, it will eat your free time like yesterday’s leftover takeaway! Addictive doesn’t do it justice. Take a look at the footage and decide for yourself!

I’ve been writing for Dave for a few years now and I love it, there is always something new to research and test! I hope you enjoy my work!

Before writing I worked in IT for around 11 years and have been an avid gamer for much, much longer. I tend to enjoy everything except sports games, but I’m not above testing them if they’ve tried something new. Give me a Space 4x any day of the week!