• Tech|Inferno News, Reviews & Guides

    The latest and most interesting news, reviews and guides found on Tech|Inferno and elsewhere.

    Brian
    Overwatch, Blizzard's new team based shooter has officially gone into open beta for those that pre-purchased the game while everyone else will get a chance to play beginning May 5th. If you didn't pre-purchase it and don't have a key, ask a friend that may have purchased it early as Blizzard is giving out extra keys just for friends. Overwatch was created by a team at Blizzard that was supposed to make the successor to World of Warcraft but unfortunately (or fortunately for us Overwatch fans) failed and then redeemed themselves with this fantastic game. In style, the game is reminiscent of Valve's Team Fortress 2 with heroes forming different classes that each have a unique and often devastating ability. The pacing is fast and at least for the PC, when the graphics options are turned up all the way, the game is nothing short of gorgeous. 
     
     
     
    Video of me and some teamethics.us guys trolling as Tracer in a match:
     
    We plan to do a full review of this game once it releases on May 24th but until then, feel free to join us on Tech|Inferno TeamSpeak. If you want to watch a live stream of the game, check out our twitch feed: https://www.twitch.tv/dirtyscrubz/
     
     
    NVIDIA's Pascal is on it's way and should be available sometime in June based on current leaks. One of the first GPUs may be a full GDDR5x GP104 based GeForce 1080 GPU and we will almost assuredly have mobile variants shortly thereafter. AMD hasn't given us nearly as much information on Polaris except their performance/watt demo a few months ago but we're fairly certain it is priming for release as well. 
     

     
    With the new generation of GPUs quickly approaching, do you plan to upgrade to either of them upon release? Why or why not? 
     
     
    CLICK HERE TO VOTE AND TO VOICE YOUR OPINION. 
     
     
    Tech|Inferno is proud to announce the opening of our ARMA 3 King Of The Hill server! Currently it supports 80 player slots and is setup as follows:
     
    First person mode locked (hardcore mode). No night cycles but we have dawn and evening. No armed vehicles. Pawnee, Ghosthawk and HMG vehicles added to the server (4/27/16). All map rotations with Kavala being the least likely selected since in our opinion it's the worst city/map. No reserve slots currently. If you need support, use our support ticket feature. It is currently online and operational.   
    Server information: Tech|Inferno King Of The Hill Infantry HC
    Server IP 45.59.69.59 Port 2302  
     

     
     
    4/27/16 - Clips from our server for your enjoyment
     
     
     
     
    If you're looking to grab some new PC games, then check out Green Man Gaming as it has a 20% off voucher code this month that expires on April 15th. So if you've been itching to play the new Tomb Raider or Dark Souls III but didn't want to pay the full retail price, well now you don't have to. Just add it to your cart, go to checkout and punch in the code APR20 and you're all set!
     

     
    In a sad day for the tech world, one of the pioneers of the PC industry and ex-CEO of Intel, Andy Grove, has passed away at the age of 79. As noted by the article on Intel's website, Andy Grove was Intel's first hire in 1979 as company President after Gordon Moore and Andrew Noyce founded the company and then later was CEO in 1987. His legacy includes shifting Intel's focus from memory chips to computer processors helping transition Intel from a company that made $1.9 billion in revenue to $26 billion. 
     
    Grove played a critical role in the decision to move Intel’s focus from memory chips to microprocessors and led the firm’s transformation into a widely recognized consumer brand. Under his leadership, Intel produced the chips, including the 386 and Pentium, that helped usher in the PC era. The company also increased annual revenues from $1.9 billion to more than $26 billion.
     
    Grove was both an astute engineer and a careful student of business management. His books High Output Management (1983) and Only the Paranoid Survive (1999) remain some of the most highly regarded management books.
     
    Grove was also active in philanthropy and helped donate towards Parkinson's research as well as donating $26 million to the City College of New York which helped establish the Grove School of Engineering. He was married to his wife Eva for 58 years and is survived by 2 daughters and 8 grandchildren. 
     
    Far Cry: Primal is the latest iteration of the Far Cry series, set in year 10,000 BCE. You play as a man named Takkar, a Wenja tribe member. Your tribe has been seperated and split up due to ongoing conflict between two imposing tribal factions, the Udam tribe and the Izila tribe. You instantly jump into action hunting a Wooly Mamoth and Takkar's journey begins. As Takkar, you must navigate through many different types of terrain, all of which are absolutely gorgeous and well detailed. From caves to fairly dense forests and glacial areas, this game is beautifully detailed. 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Visually speaking, this game is a treat and offers eye candy superior to that found in Far Cry 4.
     
    So how does it play?
     
    The gameplay of Far Cry: Primal is extremely satisfying. Coming from a huge fan of first person shooters and tired of the standard M4's and AK's this game provides very smooth and fun bow and arrow ranged combat. What's that? Guy in a wooden guard tower? No problem, lets torch our arrow and catch the whole thing on fire with him in it! It is some of the best ranged combat I've come across, it's fluid, fast, and fun. When enemies come in close though, it gets very interesting. You can perform either a series of fast attacks, slow and powerful, or a combination of them to out perform the enemy AI.
     
    Another unique thing I noticed was you don't have a crosshair visible when you have a club out, you may ask why, it's because your melee swings don't just target one enemy, but have a full range swing hitting many if you're surrounded. The ability to tame new animals and utilize them in combat scenarios is so much fun as well, nothing beats finding a pet in the world and then sending it to go hunt your enemy down. Throughout the game there's many different animals you can tame ranging from wolves to leopards to big brown bears. A nice little touch of being able to pet your animal was also implemented and makes you feel like there's a larger bond with your little companion. 
     

      Petting my newly tamed animal
     
    As for the missions, there's a decent variety of them, most of which you get to go free a tribe member by wiping out a random amount of enemies or you liberate an outpost held by enemy tribes. Whether you want to be stealthy and take them out or be in their face getting personal with melee weapons is up to you.
     

    We had a slight issue with the current inhabitant of this camp..  
     

     This is what the village looked like before I was tasked with turning it to ash. 
     
    There are also animal vision quests which make you play as an animal and set out to do specific tasks per creature. For example your first vision quest leads you to be flying behind a creature which sends you through multiple screens of beautiful terrain and landscape following behind your spirit animal. Every subsequent vision quest will present you with the these same feelings just invoked on different animals. 
     

                                                                                                                                                                  Mammoth vision quest.
     
    The vision system you learn about from the very start of the game seems to add a fun unique way of planning your attacks against enemy tribes or helping you locate resources. This enables you as the player to not feel like gathering is a tedious and painful task as it's much easier to notice the crafting materials and it's not nearly as "grind" feeling as some other games which require gathering. This is extremely helpful to you as the player because this game does force you to utilize the crafting system quite frequently to make arrows, upgrades to your tribe, first aid, and so forth. In the video posted at the bottom you can see this in action.
     
     
    Caveman MacGyver
     
    So about this crafting system, lets take a quick peek at it. As you can see from the picture below there's a good deal of things you can craft in Far Cry: Primal. Some of these items are useful, others, not so much. The bow upgrade is a must along with the spear and club. You can also upgrade your pack which is where you store all of your supplies when you're out of your village. The game gives you many different ways you can attack the opposing tribes which is pretty fantastic. Want to use a bee hive as a bomb, done. Throw stones at their face, easy. As you progress through the story you'll notice more and more things becoming unlocked for you as you rescue each of the individual key tribe members, so pay attention as you play through the story to pick the tribe members with the upgrades you want in the right order.

    The crafting/upgrading page.
     
    Another crafting system you can utilize is the quick crafting menu, this menu is used frequently when you're taking over a very large outpost or you forget you're low on supplies and in the middle of combat. This screen is absolutely clutch for so many reasons. This is the screen you use to craft more arrows, more clubs, spears, extra meat for taming, and adding rocks for your slingshot. Holding Q will bring up this menu which is almost mandatory to be used when you're taking over the extremely large outposts because when you're fighting sometimes your clubs will break, you'll eventually run out of arrows or spears and this page is your savior. The best part about this window though, it doesn't cause a "freeze" in the game, the game is still playing it just simply slows down time so if you're being attacked by enemies bringing this window up won't save your life but it does cause you to be rather quick on your decisions if you're low on supplies.
     

    The quick crafting menu.
     
    Within the world of Far Cry: Primal, you also have a very extensive skill tree which is comprised of all the important villagers you have met and brought back to your tribal town. This is the bread and butter of crafting and survival, it will make your life so much easier. There's 8 different members each with skill trees which help different elements of your game. One may help you with making your crafting supplies more efficient, another may help you increase the size of your map and notice more resources on your minimap. Another may help you with your animal abilities and taming. Every aspect of the game has a skill that will help you in your quest of liberating your tribe from the Udam and Izila. 
     

    The skill tree
     
    In the video below, I do a quick run from one of my fast travel spots to go take over an outpost run by the Udam tribe so I can get more crafting supplies sent to my main home as well as a fast travel unlock... and maybe because I just love chucking spears and shooting my bow at bad guys. In it, it shows the primal vision, the quick craft menu, a good bit of combat showing the three primary weapons (club, bow, spear), and how to take over an outpost. The AI didn't act like I would have expected but I think I simply eluded their vision quick enough to not get the horde in my face and allowed me to pick them off without being caught out much.
     
     
     
     
    The final word
     
    The story is fairly short and the game feels like a reskinned version of FarCry 4 set in 10,000 BCE. I say this simply because the map that was utilized in Far Cry: Primal is almost a direct replica of Far Cry 4, as well as the campfire/fast travel locations. Now I'm not knocking on the previous iteration as I enjoyed that game quite thoroughly, I just think this game could have offered more to the user aside from a pretty visual element tackled with a mediocre story line in the dying age of single player games.
     
    What I found quite unique was the fact that there is no English, Spanish, French, any modern or common language. The game is spoken in a made up language and that's really unique and something I thoroughly enjoyed. As for re-playability, even after completing the main story, FarCry: Primal offers a lot of side quests and activities to keep you busy. For example, your village is still begging to be upgraded and you can still bring in more of your tribe to create a little mini city.
     
    Overall I feel this game is quite fun despite some of its shortcomings and if you're looking to grab a copy, then I'd recommend checking out Green Man Gaming.
     

    Safety concerns have increased with the proliferation of smartphones, tablets, and Internet access. An awareness of threats, the use of security applications and safe habits can help users manage the dangers they face. Unfortunately, many users encounter threats without recognizing the danger, as is the case with potentially unwanted applications (PUAs), a growing problem in our connected world. 

    What are PUAs?

    A company called Zango distributed one of the first famous PUAs as part of a targeted advertising scheme. Since then, applications such as hacking tools, spyware, dialers, adware, and remote administration tools have earned the classification as PUAs because they do not have a suitable role for business or personal use. Although these applications usually do not have malicious origins, they can cause security and productivity concerns. PUAs have grown more prevalent and prominent.

    Some of the top PUAs right now have names that can sound either useful or nefarious:

    • PUA/InstallCore.diur
    • PUA/OptimizerPro.RE
    • PUA/SearchBar.OP
    • PUA.EpicScale.Gen
    • PUA/LoadMoney.Gen7
    • RDN/Generic PUP.x!b2v

    These applications have grown increasingly persistent in the way they modify computers and defeat simple removal or uninstallation methods. 

    How does a PUA affect your system?

    PUAs often spread to computers by piggybacking on a normal software installation. While installing a program that spreads PUAs, users see a check box that gives them the option of installing additional software. Users feel safe installing the program, because they think the software comes from the same developer as the main program they are installing. Sometimes it isn't even that apparent that you can opt out of installing it:


    Often, computer users only find out that they have been infected with a PUA when their browser mysteriously changes to a different default search engine or homepage. Some might remember what Internet Explorer looked like for the average user:


     
    Those are all PUA search bars and extensions that the user had no idea he was installing. The software often also installs adware that randomly displays advertisements to the user. PUAs can also install spyware, such as keyloggers, that steals personal information including passwords and credit card information to hackers who commit identity theft and credit card fraud. Sometimes, the applications install proxy services that redirect Internet traffic from a computer through rogue servers that capture all online activity and data.

    Avoiding PUAs

    An awareness of the threat can help computer users can minimize their vulnerability to PUAs. By exercising care while installing programs, and unchecking boxes that offer to install additional software, users can avoid unnecessary risks. Users should also avoid downloading software via torrent file sharing services because they often distribute programs that host PUAs. Also, many legitimate antiviruses and Internet security applications detect, and block known PUA threats, so computer and device users can proactively avoid inadvertent installation of this type of software.



    Getting rid of a PUA

    Once a PUA resides on a system, its removal becomes a priority. In some PUAs have standard uninstall options that users can access through the Windows control panel like any other application. Some of the most invasive PUAs deny users the opportunity to remove them. Frustrated users should try installing an antivirus application that offers PUA removal as a feature. The most popular antivirus applications should have that option, and an advanced user is probably already using it. However, if you are a novice, you should definitely install one as it will protect you from more serious malware and not just PUAs.

    Users can often circumvent browser hijacks by disabling extensions in their browser settings. In Chrome you should click on the hamburger icon in the upper right corner, nagivate to Settings and choose Extensions. You can also just type "chrome://extensions/" in the URL bar. In Firefox you should click on Tools and choose Addons. In Internet Explorer you should click on the cog icon or Alt+X and choose Manage Add-ons. There you can disable any installed extensions or delete them completely from your system. One practical thing about Edge is that it does not support extensions at the moment so you cannot accidentally install any that will affect it. After disabling the PUA browser extension, users should remove it.


     
    Users with infected computers should also acquire a registry cleaner from a reputable developer to eliminate all residual traces of their PUA as they can leave marks on your registry, which can in turn allow some other malware to penetrate your system.

    Conclusion

    Software companies improve user safety and security by identifying and tracking emerging threats and combating them with their products. Although antivirus and Internet security apps can help keep computers and devices safe, users should understand that new threats emerge in real time, sometimes faster than software companies can provide protection against them. When a PUA gets into a system, they can cause serious problems if not immediately disabled and removed, so users should always exercise caution when installing any software on their computers and devices, to prevent infections.

    Hi all! Figured since there aren't many avenues out there as of yet that properly show how to dissect your phoenix, I'd try to take up the mantle with my own experience in upgrading the LCD panel from FHD 1080 to the 4K panel. Before we get started, I'd like to present a list a useful tools to have beforehand if you intend to pursue this endeavor. I'll be providing pictures of my own tools as well as links to various components you need for purchase if you intend to follow-suit:
     
    ATTENTION HUGE PICTURE LOAD AHEAD!
     
     
    Continue discussion of guide here. 
    Instructions for modifying the latest GeForce 361.91 WHQL driver inf to work with Alienware notebooks.
     
    GeForce 361.91 WHQL

        *Install drivers at your own risk* Windows 10 + GeForce Drivers are Killing Samsung and LG Notebook LCD Display Panels
          Uninstall both PrecisionX & MSI Afterburner (Keep RTSS) including screen overclocking tools *Still at risk*
     
           Requirements:
           Due to driver incompatibility (black screens, TDRs, BSODs...) with previous vBIOS versions you must flash latest @Prema's v2 980M & 970M (Please consider donating to Prema)

    Win10/8.1 'F8' Boot options 'Safe Mode' & 'Disable driver Signing'
    cmd (Admin) bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy  
            -> reboot -> F8 -> select 'Disable Driver Signature Enforcement' -> Install drivers
    Run DDU "Clean & Shutdown (Safe Mode) Extract driver using 7-Zip Display.Driver folder,  copy/overwrite the proper .inf file Extracted driver package,  run setup.exe          -> Keep these folders only <-

     
     
        INF MOD v361.91
       
    nv_dispi.inf (including nvdmi.inf) PEG/Dedicated All Models: M15x, M17x, AW17 R1, M18x, AW18 R1 (including Optimus/M17xR4) excluding AW 2015 - GTX 980M , 970M , 965M , 880M , 870M , 860M , 780M , 770M , 765M , 680M , 675MX , 670MX , 660M  
    nvcvi.inf: Optimus Alienware 17 / 05AA (only) GTX 980M - 970M - 965M       
    Updated throttle free PEG MODs
     
    GeForce 353.00 PEG MOD Win7/8.1 - Full_Profiles_8_v353.00.txt
     
    GeForce 352.84 PEG MOD Win 10 - Full_Profiles_4_v352.84.txt...soon Done!
     
     
     
    GeForce 361.91 Win 7/8.1
    GeForce 361.91 Win10
     
     
    nv_dispi.inf_v361.91_Win7_8.1_PEG_Dedicated.zip
    nvcvi.inf_v361.91_Win7_8.1_Optimus_Alienware_17.zip
     
    nv_dispi.inf_v361.91_Win10_PEG_Dedicated.zip
    nvcvi.inf_v361.91_Win10_Optimus_Alienware_17.zip
     
     
    @thegh0sts
    120Hz models! NV v361.75 previously installed, set refresh rate to 60Hz before uninstalling drivers. DDU uninstall "Clean and restart",  Options: uncheck "Remove present and non-present monitors"
     

     
    Continue original discussion here. 
    I've seen a few people asking about heat and I thought I would chime in and say a few ways to keep down the heat! There are a few ways you go about this without opening the computer, for those who aren't to sure about taking a screwdriver to their laptop it may help you. In saying that, if your fans are dirty then this will not help you at all.
     
    I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY TO ANY DAMAGE HARDWARE! ANY CHANGES YOU MAKE ARE AT YOUR OWN RISK!
     
     
    INCREASING THE FAN SPEED
    to control your fans use this
    http://www.hwinfo.com/download64.html
    this is a free program that alot of people use on various computers. it work on alienwares well but im yet to test ROG and MSI with it.
     
     
    its pretty simple to use
    install it and get to this page and click on the sensors button

     
     
    then on the next screen click the small fan icon at the bottom

     
    unless you want to manually adjust your fan between each time you play click customer auto and you can edit it from there
     

     
    UNDERCLOCKING
    download and install NV tools it can manage fan speeds too but its not always 100% in laptops
     
    http://www.nvidia.com/object/nvidia-system-tools-6.08-driver.html
    on the left hand side, under the performance tab, select device settings
     

     
    now just slide it back in small steps until you are comfortable with the temps. remember that if your computer blue screens it DOES NOT mean your computer has been damaged. it is simply a way for the computer to avoid damage.
    adjust the slider in intervals of about 15mhz to be safe and click apply each time. 
    start on the core clock and finish on the memory. Every now and again it is good to check on your progress to see how far you need to go. (more on this later)
     
    MSI after burner is a good one too
    http://www.guru3d.com/files-details/msi-afterburner-beta-download.html
     

     
    again the fan control is a bit hit and miss with it but it can control your clock speed. ass per the program above keep going untill you hit a STABLE setting you want.
     
     
    TESTING
     
    here we will look at the new GPU temps after the tune.
    MSI Kombustor is a great way to test your heat. 
     
    http://www.geeks3d.com/20150710/msi-kombustor-v3-5-2-64-bit-v2-6-0-32-bit-download-gpu-stress-test-benchmark/
     

    click on stability and watch the temps. if you see any artefacts stop the test and increase the mhz by 15mhz each
     
    fur mark is the one that i use to test the heat of my alienware
     
    http://www.ozone3d.net/benchmarks/fur/
     
    aim for about 70-75*C.
     
    hope this helps you a bit.
     
     
     
    PS avoid EVGA's tuning tool on alienware i have heard it can brick your LCD!
     
    CLEANING THE FANS
    Just for the sake of it ill give you a few tips on cleaning your laptops fans out.
     
    assuming you already know the basics of using a screwdriver to open a laptop ill cover a few things to help you.
    REMEMBER, IF YOU REMOVE THE HEATSINK YOU WILL NEED NEW THERMAL PASTE!
     
    compressed air is a great way to remove dust and id recommend having a can of it over a compressor. The reason being is that some compressors can fill with a bit of water and can spray it directly into the computer.
    you can spray the air into the vents and while it wont really "clean" it it may open enough room for air to pass out. i DO NOT recomend this however.
     
    after opening up the computer and removing the fan take a paint brush and clean the entire fan, get as much of the dust out as you physically can. 
    you can use toothbrushes too if you dont have anything else.

     
    make sure you clean the grill behind the fan too as that is where the dust usually builds up.

     
    removing this dust and hair is the most important part of this clean up.
     
     
    now on to thermal paste.
    remove all the old thermal paste from the heat sink and the CPU with a dry cloth then, use isopropyl alcohol to clean the rest.
    some people seem to think that more is better but this is completely not true! if you put a large amount of thermal paste on the heatsink you will actuall have hotter temps.
    this is due to either:
    A ) the heatsink is not geting enough connectivity to the GPU as the layer of thermal paste is too thick
    B ) too much of it creates small pockets of air, these air pockets become super hot and that causes more heat on the GPU
     
    the correct amount is roughly the size of a pea

     
     
    even that is boarderline too much.
     
    Dont spread it around instead place your heat sink over it as even as possible and screw it down in a X pattern for an even spread.
     
    really hope this helps you and good luck!
     
     
    Continue discussion in original thread here.