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Written by Ex0du5_2169 on Friday, January 27th, 2017

The Supply Drop update has just dropped in but they’re not bringing cake; only guns, bullets and death, lots of death.

You may remember my review of Enter the Gungeon back in April, it was pure rogue-like chaos with a huge amount of guns, themed enemies, traps and stories. Think Binding of Isaac but with guns and a less disturbing art style. Plenty of frustration to be had, like you’d expect. Procedural level design, randomised loot and a distinct difficulty curve. There’s even an amount of preserved progression through unlockables in various forms. A game you can pick up and play very easily.

So, why am I bringing up old news? Well, the Supply Drop update was just released which adds a huge amount of new content, for free! We’re talking hundreds of new rooms; containing new weapons, bosses, enemies, companions and other goodies! There’s even a new ‘Challenge Mode’ which adds random modifiers to rooms, for those among us who really love punishing themselves! Did I mention it’s free?

One of the new bosses - The Mine Flayer

One of the new bosses – The Mine Flayer

The new content, in addition to an already brilliant core, means Enter the Gungeon continues to go from strength to strength. That’s before you consider that they have done all of this for free. Bullet hell has nothing on all this hot lead! Ok, bad puns aside, it’s a great game and I have yet to complete even one of the backstories, that should say something about the difficulty, if not my gaming abilities.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Supply Drop update and will be playing much more over the coming few weeks, as time allows. Free DLC is always a plus in my book. Have you played the Supply Drop update yet? What is your favourite gun? I would love to hear your opinions in the comments.

 

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 Thursday, January 26th, 2017

ROG Strix RX 480 is the next-generation graphics card, featuring the new Polaris 10 from AMD at the core based on a new 14nm FinFET fabrication node (previously 28nm) to bring you a new level of performance with less heat. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another card with such performance to run VR (virtual reality) games at this price point.

The GPU (grahics processing unit) comes factory-overclocked to 1330MHz in OC mode with headroom for further tweaking (1310MHz boost clock in gaming mode) and is paired with 8GB of GDDR5 video memory operating at 8GHz on the 256-bit memory bus. This translates to a performance boost of 15% in 3DMark Fire Strike and 19% in the latest games such as DOOM and Hitman compared to reference.

Auto-Extreme and Super Alloy Power II Technology
Just as other ROG Strix graphics cards, only the best components and manufacturing process is acceptable. Auto-Extreme technology employs a 100% automated manufacturing process which requires premium Super Alloy Power II components to be used. The graphics cards produced are consistently higher quality, run quieter, more efficient and cooler which in turn makes them overclock better, be more stable and last longer. The process is also environmentally friendly, eliminating harsh chemicals and reducing power consumption by 50% during production.

Redesigned Power Allocation
Power allocation has been redesigned compared to reference. ROG Strix RX 480 with the use of a custom VRM (voltage regulator module) and PCB (printed circuit board) draws 100% of the GPU power from the 8-pin PCIe power connector (rather than splitting the load between the connector and the PCIe slot). Such a design ensures that the PCIe slot specifications for power consumption is not breached (the card may throttle otherwise).
Exclusive ASUS Features and Technologies
The new GPU together with the DirectCU III cooling solution with triple wing-blade fans results in a graphics card that is three times quieter and 30% cooler than reference, only by having this level of thermal performance can this card incorporate 0dB technology which makes the card completely silent during casual gaming. The matte black shroud and backplate with new Aura RGB lighting which comes with six lighting effects can surely match almost any system. FanConnect technology incorporates two 4-pin GPU-controlled headers, allowing you to control dedicated case fans to cooling the area around the graphics card specifically. GPU Tweak II will provide easy one-click overclocking while a professional mode is still available for advanced users, XSplit Gamecaster is also included to stream or record gameplay.

The ROG Strix series of graphics cards are the only ones with a dedicated HDMI port for VR, rest assured you won’t be having any problems connecting up a VR set if you already have an HDMI monitor connected. There are two DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0 and a DVI-D port. AMD FreeSync will make sure you’re getting smooth gameplay when using supported gaming monitors such as MG248Q, MG28UQ or MG24UQ.
ROG Strix RX 480 will be available worldwide from mid-August 2016

Tech head of a UK YouTube Technology Channel known as DaveChaos
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Written by Dave Bagnall on Thursday, January 19th, 2017

High airflow.
Small size.
Huge potential.
If you’re building a compact gaming rig with a MicroATX board, you’ve found something special. The SPEC-M2 features excellent cooling and great expansion options. Modern features like USB 3.0 and SSD compatibility, room for full sized graphics cards and PSUs, and an oversized side panel window mean your next rig can look expensive – even if it’s not.

Compact high airflow design
With a full mesh front panel and direct airflow path to the GPU, the SPEC-M2 gets cool air directly to your hottest components with nothing in between.

Great cooling options
A front LED 120mm fan gets your cooling off the ground, and extra mounts provide more expandability. Take advantage of the 240mm front radiator support to upgrade your CPU or GPU to liquid cooling.

A modern design, inside and out
There’s a USB 3.0 front panel port for the latest high-speed peripherals. Inside, there are built-in mounts for dual high-performance 2.5″ SSD drives, and 3.5″ and 5.25″ drive installation is tool-free. Cable routing channels and cutouts simplify builds and improve aesthetics.

Flush-mounted side panel window
Showcase your powerful components. And when you want to get at them, the thumbscrews let you get quick access without looking for a screwdriver.

Contents and Specifications

Package contents

  • Carbide Series Clear SPEC-M2 MicroATX Gaming Case
  • Accessory kit
  • Warranty and Support Information

Compatibility

  • MicroATX, Mini-ITX motherboards

Technical specifications

  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 448 x 198 x 378mm
  • Maximum GPU Length: 383mm
  • Maximum CPU Cooler Height: 150mm
  • Maximum PSU Length: 160mm
  • Expansion Slots: 4
  • 5.25″ Drive bays: 1
  • 3.5″ Hard Drive Bays: 2
  • 2.5″ Drive Bays: 2
  • Fans included: (x1) 120mm fan
  • Cooling Layout:
    • Front: (x2) 120mm (1 x 120mm Blue LED included)
    • Top: (x2) 120mm
    • Rear: (x1) 120mm
  • Radiator Compatibility:
    • 240mm: Front only
    • 120mm: Front, or Rear
  • Dust filters for front and bottom intakes
  • Front I/O Panel includes: (x1) USB 3.0 port, (x1) USB 2.0 port, Headphone and Microphone jacks, Power on and Reset buttons
Tech head of a UK YouTube Technology Channel known as DaveChaos
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Written by Dave Bagnall on Monday, January 16th, 2017

My latest project thanks to Ultimaker is to 3D print a 1:1 scale Star Wars BB-8
My Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/DaveChaos
Ultimaker: https://ultimaker.com/
BB8 Builders Club: http://bb8builders.club/

ED’s Junk: http://www.edsjunk.net/wordpress/eds-bb-8-build-guide/

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Written by Dave Bagnall on Friday, January 13th, 2017

ROG Strix is the newest recruit into the Republic of Gamers. A series of specialized gaming gear designed for the rebel in all of us, Strix embodies ROG’s premier performance, innovative technology, and leading quality, but with its own confident and dynamic attitude. Featuring bold designs and bright colors, this exciting new series possesses a spirit of fierce individualism that charges every gaming experience with thrilling energy. ROG Strix equips players with the necessary speed and agility to dominate their game, delivers premier performance, innovation, and dynamic attitude to release the gamer’s inner rebel. A new generation of force has arrived. Join the Republic and experience the power of ROG Strix.

The new STRIX Z270F GAMING motherboard was designed to forge maximum performance and overclocking, this motherboard series features premium components as well as improved DDR4 layouts, deliver a better experience on performance, stability and longevity. The series also boasts ROG SupremeFX with a significantly new upgraded audio solution on both back and front panel, advanced networking, fastest onboard M.2 storage interfaces with up to 32Gbps, and Intel USB 3.1 Type-C with power delivery up to 15W for the ultimate gaming experience. Finally, the ROG UEFI BIOS and ROG exclusive software continues leading the way with cutting edge options.

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Written by Ex0du5_2169 on Sunday, January 1st, 2017

Whether you loved it or hated it, 2016 had alot to offer.

Let’s be honest here, people have very mixed feelings regarding 2016 as a whole. If we put all of that behind us and focus on the good things, like gaming and hardware, then I’m sure we can agree that there were some brilliant entries on that front. This piece is my way of recognising some of the best games 2016 had to offer and some honorable mentions. You might want to keep reading too, there’s a chance to win a code for Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate near the end!

So, without further ado, let us delve into my 5 favourite games (early access and otherwise) of 2016.

#5 – My Summer Car

It’s complicated, silly and, all around, a great investment of time. You might even learn something about older cars (if that’s your thing). On a serious note, while some texturing and entity placement is terrible, AI cars don’t care if you’re in the way or not and certain object collisions can ruin your progress, it’s a solid game built by a small dev studio that has some brilliant content and is just ambitious enough to provide excitement for the future. Some minor problems have also been fixed, and content added, since my previous review – http://davechaos.co.uk/reviews/my-summer-car-first-look/

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#4 – Stellaris

It wouldn’t be a year in gaming without me finding a new space 4x title to sink hours into, this year it has been Stellaris. The addition of DLC has enriched the game significantly and that’s before you take a journey through the Steam Workshop. There are some quality mods available and many are quite sizeable! It’s difficult to sing praises for it in such a small paragraph so maybe take a look at my article – http://davechaos.co.uk/reviews/stellaris-review/

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#3 – Doom

Pure gore, ripping, shooting, exploding and over-the-top violence, what’s not to love? I may not have written about Doom but don’t let that deter you. It’s a re-imagining of the franchise that caters to FPS nostalgia where story was secondary to making a beautiful mess. There’s a bucket of easter eggs and gallons of blood to spill. This blast-from-the-past is a fantastic homage to the glory days of FPS gaming. Go kill some demons – http://doom.com/en-us/

doom

#2 – Overwatch

Fast and frantic gameplay, plenty of heroes and the Blizzard pedigree. An event-filled trip through a rich world! Ok, so team-based PVP and objective oriented gameplay isn’t something everyone can get behind (as is made evident by the lack of teamwork shown by many) but that’s not to say it can’t be good fun. Whether you play casually or ranked, there is something in Overwatch that keeps us coming back for more. http://davechaos.co.uk/reviews/overwatch/

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#1 – My Game of the Year – Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley has everything I want from a game; endearing characters, well designed surroundings, solid game mechanics, a polished feel and a subtle but heart-warming story. There is so much that keeps me coming back, that’s before the huge content patch that was released a few months ago. If you have not had chance to play yet, please give it a try. Remember, this was all made possible by just one person! Go show ConcernedApe some love on Twitter! http://davechaos.co.uk/reviews/stardew-valley-review/

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Honorable Mentions

Rimworld – Alpha 16 was released a few short weeks before the new year, it’s rather good!

Titanfall 2 – Singleplayer campaign, finally!

Astroneer – A space survival that just seemed to appear from nowhere, good fun!

Hellion – This has just appeared on my radar and will be entering early access soon, keep an eye on it – https://www.playhellion.com/

 

So, what do you think? Do you agree with me? Did I miss something you think should be on the list? Let me know! Remember, all views are my own.

Now for the part you’re looking forward to, the code giveaway, am I right?

Enter below for your chance to win a code for Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate!

Hardware-UK – Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate Code Giveaway

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!